Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse

Yesterday Bill and I visited Mount Rushmore National Memorial. We drove along Iron Mountain Road that winds through Custer State Park, and parts of National Forest. We traveled through two tunnels, one that frames Mount Rushmore in the distance.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered around a sculpture into the granite face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota.

The sculpture features 60-foot heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The four Presidents were chosen, respectively, to represent the birth, the growth, the development, and the preservation of the United States. Mount Rushmore attracts more than two million visitors per year.

As I gazed upon the faces of these four Presidents, I couldn’t help but wonder, what they would have to say if they could speak about our country today…?

After leaving Mount Rushmore, we traveled into Custer, and had a delicious lunch at Burger and Bun. A very small, local hamburger place, that offers a wide variety of delicious hamburgers. They often have a 45 minute wait time to get seated. However, Bill and I happened to get there just a few minutes after they opened and we got seated right away.

After lunch, we made our way to the Crazy Horse Memorial. The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument under construction on privately held land in the Black Hills, in Custer County, South Dakota. Several  large offers of money,  have been offered to let the Federal Government take over the project, but each offer has been declined, stating the Government wouldn’t have the same passion for the project, and most likely wouldn’t give it the same time and care to do it right… When completed, the Memorial will depict the Lakota Warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing into the distance.

This Memorial was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Kiolkollski. Standing Bear wanted the white man to know the red man had hero’s of their own…

The visitor information sheet we received says “Crazy Horse has never been known to have signed a treaty or touched the pen. Crazy Horse, as far as the scale model is concerned, is to be carved not so much as a lineal likeness, but more as a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse to his people. With his left hand gesturing forward in response to the derisive question asked by a white man, where are your lands now? He replied, my lands are where my dead lie buried.”

The next picture is a small scale model of what the finished Memorial will look like.

This picture is a larger model of what the finished Memorial will look like.

Our tour guide told us he thinks it will take another 70 years to complete the Memorial. He told us it all started with a dream of one person, and that dream lives on today. After Korczak Ziolkollski died, his wife and children continue his work today. The Memorial, when completely finished, will include not only the sculpture of Crazy Horse, but also a Indian Museum of North America, and a Medical College for students to earn up to a Doctoral Degree in the medical field.

I found the Crazy Horse Memorial to be a very beautiful, and emotional place. I could feel the sense of pride from the people working in the various areas of the Memorial, from the front gate, to the gift shop, and especially from the tour guides. What a great tribute to honor the Native American Indians.

Next week Bill and I are taking the 1880 train that runs from Hill City to Keystone. And, the week after that, we are going to the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Music Variety Show. The show lets out in time for us to get to the evening lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore. All of these events are offered free to us through the VIP  Training Cards we were given so we can see first hand all the Black Hills has to offer visitors. We will then be better prepared to talk about all of these attractions with our visitors to the Custer State Park Visitor Center.

Stay Tuned!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robin
    Jun 07, 2019 @ 16:06:04

    I’ve never been that drawn to see Mt. Rushmore. Of course if I was in the area, I would. But this Crazy Horse Memorial you are sharing…now that would be on my list. I could see how it could be so emotional…thanks for the share of what you’re experiencing and seeing! Love you both!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 08, 2019 @ 11:32:54

      Hi Sunshine, of the two Memorials, I was much more impressed with the Crazy Horse Memorial, even though it isn’t even finished, and I won’t see it finished in my lifetime. I just found the story behind the memorial so emotional and fascinating. Love and hugs. XoXo

      Reply

  2. ellen739
    Jun 08, 2019 @ 00:01:08

    Looks like you had a full day and many more to come. Great they are all free!
    Enjoy and hope you enjoyed the burgers 🍔
    Love you
    Ellen

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 08, 2019 @ 11:29:21

      Hi Aunt Ellen. Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and yours. Yes, we are making the most of every day we have here to get out and explore and see all this beautiful state has to offer.Stay tuned for many more posts as I share our experience. Love and hugs to all. XoXo

      Reply

  3. Marie
    Jun 08, 2019 @ 10:27:47

    Visited both memorials a few years back – Preferred Crazy Horse – maybe because its a work in progress. Wouldn’t it be something to see it finished one day!

    Reply

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