Mount Rushmore offers more then just a spectacular view of four powerful presidents. It also offers several different species of wildflower’s and wildlife. On a typical day you might see deer, chipmunks and turkey gracing the perimeters of this lush Island in the Prairie. Mount Rushmore is located in the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota, and this picturesque landscape greets everyone with blue flax wildflowers, history, and art. The sculptures carved in stone on Mount Rushmore represent the first 150 years of American history, and people from just about everywhere come to enjoy this grand piece of American history.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
How it All Started
Mt. Rushmore was originally intended to be a piece of art to draw in tourists. Mount Rushmore represents the largest work of art on earth. Each face is 60 feet high, compared to the head on the Statue of Liberty, which is 17 feet tall. The presidents’ noses are 20 feet long, each mouth is 18 feet wide, and each eye is 11 feet across. Had they been carved to their toes, the figures would have been 465 feet tall. The artist behind the exhilarating masterpiece is Gutzon Borglum. His passion for celebrating things American is what gave him his status and brought moderate fame to his name. This passion led him to create a few other works like the remodeled torch for the Statue of Liberty, saints and apostles for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, a seated Lincoln in Newark, N.J., and an oversized Lincoln bust for the U.S. Capitol. Borglum envisioned four U.S. presidents beside an entablature inscribed with a brief history of the country. In a separate wall behind the carved figures, the Hall of RecordsÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½have preserved national documents and artifacts. Borglum selected Mt. Rushmore because of its 5,725-foot height, and it was made of granite, but his biggest reason was that it faced the sun most of the day. Borglum chose his U.S. Presidents carefully, and it promised to elevate the memorial from a regional enterprise to a national cause. In commemoration of the foundation, preservation and continental expansion of the United States with a brief history of the country.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The Cost of Building the Sculptures
The cost of his project was $1 million dollars with $836,000 of this being federal money. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located along the northeast edge of what is known as the Harney Peak Granite Batholith in the Black Hills of South Dakota.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Gutzon Borglumchose choseÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Washington because he was the father of our country, and the first president. Lincoln was added due to his being known as the Great Emancipator. Jefferson was an easy choice as he drafted the Declaration of Independence, giving the nation a plan for sovereignty and freedom. His last choice was met with criticism, but Roosevelt was not only a good friend to Borglum, he also identified with Roosevelt’s energy and charisma and saw him as the epitome of the American spirit. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the memorial in 1927, commencing 14 years of work.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The Lighting Ceremony
The Black HillsÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½TrainÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½tour gives youÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½the staggering beauty of the Black Hills of Western South Dakota like no other. This 1880 antiqueÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½train provides spectacular mountain scenery including vistas of Harney Peak with aÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½grand finaleÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½of theÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½the patriotic Mount Rushmore Lighting Ceremony. An impressiveÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½showing is presented at dusk in the amphitheater located below the faces. Large lights illuminate the granite of the colossal figures creating a wonderfully patriotic experience.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
Chuckwagon Dinner & Western Show
The dinner and show are held in a barn that accomodates 1,300 guests, and includes a meal of slow roasted beef,Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½mouth wateringÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½barbecued chicken, cowboy beans, fresh hot biscuits, cool peaches, homemade gingerbread, hot coffee, and thirst-quenching lemonade. Following this huge feast is the entertainment. Guests are treated to authentic cowboy music complete with cowboy show tunes and music performed on theÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, bass fiddle, and guitar.
Things To Do At Mount Rushmore
Walk downÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½the Avenue of Flags, where each state is represented.
View the Mount Rushmore carving from Grand View Terrace.
Walk the Presidential Trail which offers the closest viewpoints of the Mt. Rushmore faces.
View the evening lighting ceremony held in the amphitheater at 9:00 PM nightly.
Shop for local arts and crafts, such as Black Hills Gold jewelry, in the 5,300 square foot Mount Rushmore gift shop.
Eat at the snack shop or dine in Mount Rushmore’s Buffalo Dining Room, known for its buffalo stew and world famous strawberry pie.
View the Sculptor’s Studio andÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½get a feel forÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½the artist’s perspective, and view the mountain sculpture and the original model of the carving.
Pan for gold