South Dakota Nature July 15, 2019
You May Not Know These 12 Incredible Secrets About Mount Rushmore In South Dakota
Nick Clifford – the only living carver of Mount Rushmore – celebrated his birthday, which got us thinking about his magnificent monument and how it continues to stand the test of time. Since times are vastly different now than they were in the early to the mid-20th century, we wondered just what went into carving Mount Rushmore, which is how we uncovered these 12 incredible secrets you may have never known:
1. The idea for Mount Rushmore originally came about in the early 1920s, when then-state historian Doane Robinson was looking for a way to attract more visitors to South Dakota.
He reached out to sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who worked at the monument in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
2. After Robinson and Borglum met several times in 1924 and 1925, it was decided where the monument would be located.
Robinson originally envisioned the monument carved upon the Needles, but Borglum pointed out that the thin mountains would not be nearly sturdy enough.
3. After securing funding from Congress, construction began and lasted from 1927 to 1941.
4. The cost to complete Mount Rushmore was $989,992.32, which - with inflation - would be $17,250,313.12 today.
5. Since a whopping 450,000 tons of granite needed to be removed to complete the project, Borglum turned to dynamite, which is credited for eliminating more than 90% of the granite.
6. Borglum never got to see the result of his hard work, as he passed away in 1941.
Borglum's son, Lincoln, completed the project for his dad.
7. There were more than 400 people who worked on Mount Rushmore (including Nick Clifford).
As if carving granite was not hard enough, each worker had to climb more than 500 steps to work each day!
8. During its 14-year production, Mount Rushmore's plan went through nine different changes, including the addition of the Hall of Records and the decision to forgo carving bodies below each president's head.
9. Workers at Mount Rushmore would hang via 3/8-inch steel cables in bosun's chairs.
Shockingly, nobody died during the construction of the monument!
10. Each of the president's heads on Mount Rushmore is 60 feet tall, which is the equivalent of a six-story building.
11. Mount Rushmore was completed and dedicated in 1941 and now welcomes an average of 3 million visitors each year.
12. How were the four presidents selected? Geroge Washington was chosen because he was the founder of the country, Thomas Jefferson for signing the Louisiana Purchase and authoring the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln for his leadership in the Civil War, and Theodore Roosevelt for moving the country forward in both conservation and industrial development.
How many of these tidbits did you know? Do you know any other fascinating secrets? Let us know in the comments! For even more information on the aforementioned Hall of Records, click on
This Super Secret Spot In South Dakota Is Being Called One Of The Greatest Places In America.