Sunday, August 19, 2007
Our first view of Mt. Rushmore was through a tunnel cut through the rock on Highway 16a. In all, there were a total of 3 tunnels, each with it's own spectacular view.
How was Mt. Rushmore named?
Mt. Rushmore was named after a New York lawyer, Charles E. Rushmore, who was in the Black Hills in 1885 researching mining camps for area mining companies. The official name change occured on July 4, 1930, by the U.S. Board of Geographic names.
Driving for miles along the highway, the monument is visible through trees in unexpected places. You just have to keep an eye out.
You come to an opening, and there it is, in all it's glory.
What are the dimensions of the heads?
Face: Approx. 60 feet from the chin to the top of the head.
Eye: Approx. 11 feet across.
Nose: Approx. 20 feet (except Washington's which is 21 feet).
Mouth: Approx. 18 feet across.
The faces are scaled to a figure 465 feet tall. The full sculpture is 185 feet across and 150 feet tall.
How long did it take to carve the mountain?
The sculpture took 14 years. Work began on October 4, 1927, and ended on October 31, 1941. Considering delays from weather and interrupted funding, the actual time spent working was a total of 6 1/2 years.
Gutzon Borglum - Sculptor of Mt. Rushmore.
For Borglum, Washington represented the BIRTH of our country, since he was our first president. Jefferson, symbolized EXPANSION, he was largely responsible for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The sculptor chose Lincoln to embody the PRESERVATION of the Union of States in confronting the challenges of the Civil War. Theodore Roosevelt represented the DEVELOPMENT of our country with the construction of the Panama Canal.
Inside the museum are shown various tools and procedures used to create the monument.
Chandelier hanging in the cafeteria shows men in Bosun Chairs doing the carving.
Lou, bigger than life, camera in hand.
Quite a splendid walkway they've created, displaying the flags of each of the states.
As we were leaving, we got another view - the profile of Washington. If you read the plate above, it tells how Jefferson was originally to be on Washington's right side, but due to the poor rock quality, had to be moved to his left side. The work which started on Jefferson had to be blasted away, and as a result, created this unexpected profile of Washington.
The Black Hills are truly beautiful!