It Was Winter In South Dakota
Sue and Paul mentioned to Kathy (Phoenix Club) that we always wanted to go to Mount Rushmore and Kathy mentioned that she had recently visited there. She offered her memory chip so we could share her vacation! We indeed shared and enjoyed the vacation and put together her [ictures with other information to make this webpage!
Thank you Kathy for sharing your vacation with us!
Where Is South Dakota?
Mount Rushmore is half way across the country!
Located in the Black Hills National Forest!
Did You Know? - Black Hills National Forest is located in southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. The forest has an area of over 1.25 million acres (5,066 km²) and is managed by the Forest Service. Forest headquarters are located in Custer, South Dakota. There are local ranger district offices in Custer, Rapid City, and Spearfish in South Dakota, and in Sundance, Wyoming.
Predominantly ponderosa pine, the forest also includes hard woods like aspen, bur oak, and birch. The lower elevations include grassland prairie, but the National Forest System lands encompass most of the mountainous region known as the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Within the forest is Harney Peak which is the tallest mountain in South Dakota and the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, surrounded by the Black Hills National Forest, is 25 miles southwest of Rapid City, South Dakota, via US Highway 16; and 3 miles from Keystone via US Highway 16A and South Dakota Highway 244.
Mount Rushmore... An American Icon
On a perfect day they can see forever!
Before the sculpture began
Did You Know? - Between October 4, 1927, and October 31, 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the colossal 60 foot (18 m) high carvings of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 130 years of American history. These presidents were selected by Borglum because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory.
Visiting The Memorial
The Presidents have a magnificent view also
It was a pretty good walk
Did You Know? - A $56 million redevelopment was completed in 1998 with the addition of a new parking structure, amphitheater, museum/theater complex, Visitor Orientation Center, Presidential Trail, gift shop, bookstore, and dining facilities.
The entrance to the memorial
A May day in South Dakota can be cold!
There was snow on the ground! Todays average low was 42 degrees
Standing in Borglum Court - The Amphitheater is straight ahead
The states are all represented in The Avenue Of Flags
It was a foggy day and the faces were not visible early in the morning
The gift store was quite large
The Grand View Terrace provides a spacious overlook
On the terrace
Hang on... The weather will clear up!
Did You Know? - Rushmore's granite faces tower 5,500 feet above sea level. The carvings on Mount Rushmore are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall. Each head on Mt. Rushmore is as tall as a six-story building. More that 800 million pounds of stone were removed from Mount Rushmore while carving the presidents.
Looking good Mr. Lincoln!
Teddy even has glasses
Go away fog!
It was cold out... Everyone had their coats on!
It was warmer inside!
Finally the weather cooperates
George looks quite resolute
Did You Know? - George Washington was elected president in 1789, but took the position reluctantly. He knew the challenges the new nation faced, and he feared he wasn't the right man for the job. Despite being a member of the Federalist Party, Washington was unanimously elected by the 69 electors to lead the new United States of America.
The face of George Washington was the first to be carved on Mount Rushmore. It was officially dedicated on July 4, 1930. For the dedication, a 39ft by 67ft American flag was hand-sewn by a group of Rapid City women and Mrs. Gutzon Borglum. The flag was later used to dedicate all of the presidents on Mount Rushmore.
Teddy is even wearing his glasses
Did You Know? - President Teddy Roosevelt's iconic pince-nez have been found firmly planted on the nose of his likeness on Mount Rushmore. Obviously, the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, could not carve the entire pince-nez into the granite mountainside. Instead, he skillfully carved just the bridge of the pince-nez across the president's nose and the faint bit of each lens against the nose. Our imagination easily fills in the rest.
Pince-nez is a style of glasses, popular in the 19th century, that are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. The name comes from French pincer, "to pinch", and nez, "nose".
Although pince-nez were used in Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, modern ones appeared in the 1840s and reached their peak popularity around 1880 to 1900.
Did You Know? - Abraham Lincoln is considered by many scholars to be one of our nation's greatest presidents. He is credited with holding the country together during the Civil War and was instrumental in the abolishment of slavery. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot while attending a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. He died on April 15th.
The face of Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore was officially dedicated on September 17, 1937.
Did You Know? - President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the dedication of the Jefferson portrait in its present location in 1936.
Thomas Jefferson's face on Mount Rushmore was originally started on the opposite side of George Washington, but 18 months into the carving, they realized the granite was too weak. His face was dynamited off and carved on the other side.
You can climb if you are interested...
A view from the amphitheater
Did You Know? - The mountain itself was originally named after Charles E. Rushmore, a New York lawyer investigating mining claims in the Black Hills in 1885. Gutzon Borglum chose this mountain due to its height (5700' above sea level), the soft grainy consistency of the granite, and the fact that it catches the sun for the greatest part of the day.
The presidents were selected on the basis of what each symbolized. George Washington represents the struggle for independence, Thomas Jefferson the idea of government by the people. Abraham Lincoln for his ideas on equality and the permanent union of the states, and Theodore Roosevelt for the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs.
The carving of Mt. Rushmore actually began on August 10, 1927, and spanned a length of 14 years.
Only about six and a half years were spent actually carving the mountain, with the rest of the time being spent on weather delays and Borglum's greatest enemy - the lack of funding.
The total cost of the project was $900,000. Work continued on the project until the death of Gutzon Borglum in 1941.
No carving has been done on the mountain since that time and none is planned in the future.
The site is managed by the NPS
The amphitheater is quite large - That is Kathy preparing to sprint to the top!
The buildings are all of stone and fit right in to the monument
They can light up the mountain at night!
Taken with the lights on!
Taken at night with time-lapse photography - Check out the stars in the sky!
Did You Know? - The most spectacular program at Mount Rushmore is the evening lighting ceremony held in the new amphitheater, 9:00 PM sharp. A must see when you are touring the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.
To complete your Rushmore experience, view the evening lighting ceremony. The National Park Service sponsors a special program Memorial Day through Labor Day. It consists of a 10-minute talk followed by a 20-minute film. The highlight of the evening is the slow exposure of light to the monument until it is fully illuminated. It's a good idea to go early and bring a jacket. Program times are as follows: 9:00-9:30 P.M. lighting ceremony, 9:30-10:30 P.M. illumination. For these traveling in the off season, the faces are illuminated nightly.
One more look back!
Did You Know? - The mountain goats that live at Mount Rushmore are not native to the area or to South Dakota. In 1923, the government of Canada gave six Rocky Mountain goats to Custer State Park. The high-climbers escaped from their pen and headed north to take up residence at Mount Rushmore. The goats can often be seen wandering around the memorial in the early mornings and evenings when there are fewer visitors.
Indeed it was cold in May!
Back towards the parking lots
Each pillar has plaques for the states
Kathy is from Wisconsin
A magnificent day!
No swimsuits in sale today!
Kathy get's an autograph
Did You Know? - Drilling rock hundreds of feet up on the side of a cliff face is exciting work, especially when it's a historic monument like the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota. It is also exceedingly dangerous work. Amazingly, no workers were killed during the years of drilling and blasting needed to create the monument. That fact is not lost on the last living man to drill and chisel the faces of four great American presidents into a mountain. Donald "Nick" Clifford has the distinction of being the last surviving person who actually worked on the sculpture. The story of how he got the job is almost as fascinating as the work he and the others did to create such a magnificent work of art.
Clifford had been hassling the sculptor of the monument, Gutzon Borglum, for a job since he was 15 years old. He finally got his chance at the age of 17 because of baseball. In 1938, Borglum's son decided he wanted to form a baseball team for his workers. Knowing that Clifford was an excellent pitcher and infielder, he got added as a ringer to the team, which was called the Mount Rushmore Memorial Drillers. He then badgered his teammates until they finally got him a job.
At first, Clifford worked cutting logs and cranking winches to raise and lower cables at the rate of $0.50 per hour. He was eventually promoted to driller and given a raise of $1 per day. He worked three years on the project. Now, he autographs his own book, Mount Rushmore Q&A, at the Mount Rushmore gift shop and answers any and all questions about the making of the memorial. After all, he is the last one who can.
Amazing.... Meeting living history!
Who Did The Work!
He passed his talents to his son!
An amazing man!
Did You Know? - The son of Danish immigrants, Gutzon Borglum was born in 1867 in St. Charles in what was then Idaho Territory. Borglum was a child of Mormon polygamy. His father, Jens Møller Haugaard Børglum, had two wives when he lived in Idaho: Gutzon's mother, Christina Mikkelsen Borglum, and Gutzon's mother's sister, who was Jens's first wife.
Jens decided to leave Mormonism and moved back to Omaha, where polygamy was illegal and taboo; he left Gutzon's mother and took his first wife with him.
Jens worked mainly as a woodcarver before leaving Idaho to attend the Saint Louis Homeopathic Medical College in Saint Louis, Missouri. Upon his graduation from the Missouri Medical College in 1874, Dr. Borglum moved the family to Fremont, Nebraska, where he established a medical practice. Gutzon Borglum remained in Fremont until 1882, when his father enrolled him in St. Mary's College, Kansas.
After a brief stint at Saint Mary's College, Gutzon Borglum relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, where he apprenticed in a machine shop and graduated from Creighton Preparatory School. He was trained in Paris at the Académie Julian, where he came to know Auguste Rodin and was influenced by Rodin's impressionistic light-catching surfaces.
Back in the U.S. in New York City he sculpted saints and apostles for the new Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in 1901; in 1906 he had a group sculpture accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art — the first sculpture by a living American the museum had ever purchased—and made his presence further felt with some portraits. He also won the Logan Medal of the Arts. His reputation soon surpassed that of his younger brother, Solon Borglum, already an established sculptor.
By the time Kathy was departing the fog was almost gone