She stands on a mountain overlooking Butte, Montana, 8500 feet above sea level on the Continental Divide. It looks as if she's blessing the town. If Butte, home of the Berkeley Pit, is reaping the benefits of her heavenly munificence, it's hard to see. The town has never really recovered from the Great Depression.

She's visible from I-90 East, or I-15 South. Or you can see her, as I did, from the air. Catholics reportedly sometimes see their lady waving at them as they drive by.

In 1979, Butte resident Bob O'Bill's wife was seriously ill. He promised to construct a five foot statue of Mary and place it on the mountain if his wife recovered. She did, and Bob begain to discuss the project with his friends and co-workers. As they talked, the project somehow grew. Six years later, in 1985, a seven mile road led up the side of the mountain to the feet of the 90 foot tall, 51-ton statue. She was built entirely by volunteers, with donations from local individuals and businesses.

Today, she is one of the town's most popular tourist attractions. Tours are offered twice a day, June through September.

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