rushmore

PAINTING BLACK HILLS / MT. RUSHMORE, SD

For centuries the Black Hills have been considered sacred ground and a magic land to the Native American tribes who lived there. When Gutson Borglum began sculpting the mountain, known as Six Grandfathers, into the likeness of four great American Presidents he gave Mount Rushmore a new sacred magic. Today more than 3 million people visit the monument each year to experience this incredible sight. Come with Eric through Keystone, South Dakota – the Gateway to Mount Rushmore- and enjoy the awe of the iconic Rock Stars of Mount Rushmore.

STORY

Helicopter Tours


coptertours.com
STORY

Rattlesnake Randy


STORY

Bison


STORY

Big Thunder


www.bigthundermine.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Wall Drug

black_hills_best_wall


www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Wind Cave National Park



www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Mammoth Hot Springs



mammothsite.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway



www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Sylvan Lake



gfp.sd.gov
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Reptile Gardens



www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Crazy Horse Memorial



www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Badlands National Park



www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Custer State Park



www.visitrapidcity.com
★ BEST OF THE BEST ★

Mount Rushmore

black_hills_best_rushmore


www.visitrapidcity.com
FUN TRIVIA

SELECT ONE
OF 10
LANDMARK

Wall Drug


www.visitrapidcity.com
LANDMARK

Mount Rushmore


www.visitrapidcity.com/
LANDMARK

Crazy Horse


crazyhorsememorial.org
LANDMARK

Black Hills Railroad


www.1880train.com
HISTORY IN A NUT SHELL

Black Hills / Mt. Rushmore, SD



Long before the jagged Rocky Mountains tore through the flesh of the earth in their effort to touch the face of the sky; long before the Appalachians became weathered sentinels along the piedmont; long before time, mountains rose from near the center of the continent not as a range but more as a monument to unnamed forces of life and power placed within the earth. Over eons pine trees grew up the slopes of these mountains, giving them a black appearance from the surrounding plains. This place of power, mystery, and magic became sacred to every culture that has embraced it but for various reasons. For thousands of years, even before the Arikara people arrived around 1500 BC, people felt the power of the area. The Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, and Pawnee followed them and found the area sacred. The Lakota came in the 1770’s, driving out the other native people, finding it was good place for prayer and reflection, where heaven touched earth, sacred ground.

Long before the jagged Rocky Mountains tore through the flesh of the earth in their effort to touch the face of the sky; long before the Appalachians became weathered sentinels along the piedmont; long before time, mountains rose from near the center of the continent not as a range but more as a monument to unnamed forces of life and power placed within the earth. Over eons pine trees grew up the slopes of these mountains, giving them a black appearance from the surrounding plains. This place of power, mystery, and magic became sacred to every culture that has embraced it but for various reasons. For thousands of years, even before the Arikara people arrived around 1500 BC, people felt the power of the area. The Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, and Pawnee followed them and found the area sacred. The Lakota came in the 1770’s, driving out the other native people, finding it was good place for prayer and reflection, where heaven touched earth, sacred ground.

As the United States continued to grow the Government negotiated treaties with the Indians to allow safe passage along the Oregon Trail. A treaty was signed in 1868 which agreed that the area, called the Black Hills, would belong to the Lakota people forever and for all time. I’m sure they meant it then but when the European sacred metal, gold, was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874 the definition of forever and for all time was changed to approximately 5 ½ to 6 years. When white people came on pilgrimage in droves to find this sacred metal the Lakota pushed back. What ensued was a series of conflicts where the out gunned Lakota Sioux were defeated and pushed off the land. These new settlers found gold, lead, and other valuable resources and many were made rich off the bounty of the earth. Mining and lumber drove the economy and growth of the area into the 1900’s.
In 1923 Doane Robinson, Superintendent of the Historical Society, proposed a massive mountain memorial carved so large it would put South Dakota on the map. President Coolidge helped get the measure passed and Gutzom Borglum was recruited to turn a mountain, known to the Sioux as the six grandfathers, into this monument. In 1941 Mount Rushmore was completed becoming an immediate icon and a National Monument in 1966. In 1938 Clarence “Pappy” Hoel arranged a motorcycle rally that attracted over 200 riders. That same rally attracts over 500,000 today. The Sioux recruited Korczak Ziolkowski (who had worked with Borglum) to build a monument to their great leader, Crazy Horse, at Thunder Mountain in 1948 – which is still proceeding today. Over the years the Lakota have sought to reclaim their treaty land. The American Indian movement gained momentum through the 1970’s and in 1980 the US Supreme Court found in their favor saying the Government illegally broke the treaty and took the land, offering the Sioux a cash settlement. The Sioux refused the settlement of $106 million because they do not want the money, the want the land. Today the Black Hills still have a power to them. With mining and the lumber industry gone the economy has turned to tourism and people still flock by the millions to feel and see this ancient sacred land called the Black Hills.