Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Start of Construction of Mount Rushmore in 1927

Mount Rushmore National Memorial – Wikipedia

This week marks the 93rd anniversary of the beginning of the construction of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. We should go there to mark this historic occasion. We do need to take our list of the things we should avoid doing so that we will not inadvertently put a tear in the time continuum. Let’s all get on board and get ready for an exciting trip.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Start of Construction of Mount Rushmore in 1927 by John W. Howell

10 If you go, do not stand under the ‘falling rocks’ sign. If you do, at best, the dynamite process has not started yet. At worst, you will need to get a very hard hat. (Just like a tourist, Marton. You see a sign that says not to do something, and you do it. Hope that boulder heading your way is a close miss and not a direct hit.

9 If you go, do not accompany Tiny, the WWF champ, as he climbs to the top of the Black Hills. If you do, at best, you both will make it safely. At worst, Tiny, who has a severe case of agoraphobia, might panic at any moment. (The sad thing is, Marylu when Tiny panics, he tends to throw things off of high places. Now that I mentioned that, it looks like he has changed and is now prepared to throw people off high places. Hope the landing is gentle.

8 If you go, do not tell Sculptor Gutzon Borglum that you think the figures on the mountain should be Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. If you do, at best, he won’t hear you. At worst, he will offer you a ride in a handbasket to the top. (You see, Massimo, Borglum wanted to have Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea, Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Oglala Lakota chief Crazy Horse. He was overruled by South Dakota historian Doane Robinson who thought up the idea.)

7 If you go, do not ask Gutzon when he thinks the project will be finished. If you do, At best, he’ll walk away. At worst, he will sit you down and describe in detail what needs to be done. (The project started in 1927, Mateus and was halted in October 1941 after funds ran out. Gutzon Borglum died of an embolism in March 1941. His son, Lincoln Borglum, continued the project until it was halted.)

6 If you go, do not mention to Gutzon that only the heads of the figures would be depicted on the mountain. If you do, at best, Gutzon will think you are joking. At worst, you will get into an argument with Gutzon. (The original plan called for the Presidents to be finished to the waist, Matias. When fining ran out, the work stopped. I see Gutzon is talking to some pretty big looking workers and pointing this way. You might want to get off the mountain under your own power.)

5 If you go, do not ask how much all this is going to cost. If you do, at best, no one will hear you. At worst, you will be overheard by Doane Robinson, the originator of the idea. (The matter of funding was turned over to a Congressional delegation and Calvin Coolidge. It was finally funded in 1925. Just for the record, Mats the whole thing cost $$989,992.32, which would be over $14 Million today)

4 If you go, do not only compliment Gutzon Borglum for the work going on. If you do, At best, none of the 400 workers will hear you. At worst. you will be overheard by Luigi del Bianco, the head carver. (Luigi did a lot of the work, Mattius. He Used dynamite and then a process called ‘honeycombing.’ This involved drilling holes spaced a short distance apart and then chipping the rock away. Luigi wants you to hold his pneumatic hammer for a minute. I wouldn’t if I were you.)

3 If you go, do not make bets about the amount of rock removed from the mountain. If you do, at best, no one will be interested. At worst, you have some takers. (Now the problem is how do you either collect winnings or pay losings, Maur. When the final tally is in, you may or may not be able to come back. I think the best thing s for you to stay until it is finished. I see a lot of the workers agree with me. By the way, the correct guess is 410,000 tons.)

2 If you go, do not try to measure the lights of the Presidents. If you do, at best you won’t find a way to do it. At worst, someone will give you a rope. (I thing dangling on the end of a rope with a tape measure is a little risky, Mauro. Maybe you should just get back to the top and forget it. The answer is sixty feet. There satisfied?)

1 If you go, do not ask Gutzon Borglum why the mountain is not named Borglum instead of Rushmore. If you do, at best, Gutzon will be busty planting dynamite. At worst, he’ll want you to light the fuse. (Mount Rushmore was named after wealthy investor Charles E. Rushmore who visited the area repeatedly in 1885, Maverick. It was made official in 1930 by The United States Board of Geographic Names. Goes to show not what you know but who. Of course, the name was originally Six Grandfathers given by the Lakota Sioux)

111 comments

  1. Would have been interesting if 8 ended up happening. Hard to imagine 6 faces on there too, but I assume they’d be smaller.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes very much smaller. 😁

      Like

  2. I’ve never been to South Dakota but I certainly want to visit. Maybe in 2021! Your countdown may lead to a road trip, John. Thank you for the backstory and the wonderings. πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I want to go too. John is very good at whetting one’s historical appetite.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We should all go. I’ll get the bus and we can be off. We’ll be having food catered by French Laundry, and drinks by Mister Paradise. Willie Nelson has volunteered to go along.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, yes…I’m in. I’ll even drive the bus…:)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Um. Let’s see. New Yorker with lots of driving experience. Hell yeah, why not?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ll try not to take any fast corners. ):

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes. We don’t want Willie falling over and hitting his head. πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It would be a wonderful thing to see, Gwen. You should do it. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So much history packed into your list this morning. Well done, John. I’ve always wanted to visit South Dakota. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Jill. There is so much more history around the Black Hills. It would be a good destination for a road trip. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! This could have been different. So, we have workers, planners, thinkers, investors and bureaucrats. I think Tiny should have had done practice shots. Great post. New info to this boy. Thanks John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thaks, Dan. A lot of meat history wose here. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. (… Borglum wanted to have Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea, Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Oglala Lakota chief Crazy Horse. He was overruled by South Dakota historian Doane Robinson who thought up the idea.)

    Too bad … what might have been.

    Are you hip to the Crazy Horse Monument now being carved in South Dakota? Seventy years snice starting and still many, many years to go. Mount Rushmore could fit under his (Crazy Horse’s) arm. The arm may take 50 years to complete since it can’t be done by blasting. The people carving it refuse (its been offered) any money from the Federal Government. They don’t want to be told what to do. Completely funded by donations. The family doing it are on their third generation. The American Spirit at its finest.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A whole other story, Andrew. Yes I’m aware of the Crazy Horse monument. Are you aware of the proposed settlement to the Souix for over a billion that they refuse to accept. They want their lands returned.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am. But it ain’t gonna happen, more’s the pity. No way are we giving them their land back that we stole. We stole it fair and square (sort of) and now it’s our to desecrate as we see fit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. I agree with your view.

        Like

  6. How about telling Tiny that old George looks tired, can I go up and fix it?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s funny.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. Tiny and I have a thing going each week. I harass him and then run like the dickens!!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I heard Tiny’s fast so, beware. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      3. If he’s big AND fast, I’m getting him a football contract!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Ans we’ll all come watch him play, on our way to Mount Rushmore, on the bus…:()

        Liked by 2 people

      5. You got it. Order me another margarita!!

        Liked by 2 people

      6. With salt or without???

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Extra, please.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. What about your blood pressure???

        Liked by 2 people

      9. I have low sodium.

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Me too…but salt around that glass…well…I suppose one’s okay. But I don’t know about you, but I could never have, just one.

        Liked by 2 people

      11. Like potatoe chips. Who eats just one?

        Liked by 1 person

      12. John cut me off!

        Liked by 2 people

      13. He’s a brute for sure that John.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I can see him in the ring, or busting through a saloon door saying…milk, straight up…no chocolate. GIRRRRRRR

        Liked by 1 person

      15. “Everyone keep your hands where I can see ’em. Checking for dirty fingernails.”

        Liked by 1 person

      16. 😊 So was yours.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Dueling giggles. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      18. He’s cut off, Susannah.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. aw jeez…….

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Here you go. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Hic… shanks…hic

        Liked by 1 person

      22. Sounds like fun. Sing the Notre Dame fight song, Willie.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. GP is like the guy poking the lion in the cage. Someday the lion is goning to notice the cage door is unlocked.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. Eeeek………..

        Liked by 1 person

      25. I know right? πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

    2. There you go.Tiny has a specialsling to get you up there. Don’t worry about the fact that the rope slips around your neck. Clench your teeth and you’ll be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least he has a plan – I don’t…. 😲

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve outdone yourself with this one, John!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. Liz. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting group of facts behind this one. Thanks, John.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Craig.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nice meeting you here

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVED THIS!!! I knew so little, especially that it was named for Charles Rushmore, and why. Love that he’s viewed as a maverick.

    400 workers amid that roaring noise. Wonder how many of them lost hearing because of all the blasting.

    I’d be the one wanting to measure Teddy, dangling from that rope. I know it. Excuse me while I get my hard hat out of the closet.

    I really loved this John…and there’s no way, Trump’s going up there next to TR and Tom. That’s when we organize. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. You and I won’t live long enough to see the Donald smirking from the Black Hills. (Try never)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. OY….Can you imagine.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes my eyes go cloudy.

        Like

      3. To think it was actually discussed as a possibility. I’ll quote Teddy… β€œWe stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord!” To say the very least if his wish ever became true.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think with the latest Covid fiasco it is not a worry.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I just saw him giving the high sign. Ominous gesture.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. My thought is his credibility on Covid is allbut gone. I think it is going to cost him votes. I hate the thought of Biden as president (which really means Harris as president down the road.) but Trump seems hell bent to make that happen.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. I’m unclear. You don’t like Biden either. So where re we then.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Hard to say where we are. I think both candidates have severe limitations. I also think a Biden win will put us back into a Federal centric government that in reality does not work well. All this talk of making things better for people will cost a lot of money. I’m so mad at Trump for being a narssistic ass because the general public wants a President that is kind and nice. They really don’t care weather the person gets the job done or not. (Obama is a perfect example) All the riot and BLM side issues have only given the Dems more ammo to make the public assume those things are Trump’s fault. Of course, Trump calls everything a hoax so his credability goes out the window. Some days I throw up my hands and have a passive agressive wish that the Dems just take it all and then the folks who wanted a govenment filled with kindness (Well except for Shumer and Pelosi ) will get their wish. They will also get increased taxes decreased return on investments and all the benefits that come with Federal programs. A look to the UK is a hint. So, yes I am a Republican who wishes Trump had demonstrated better leadership on COVID and stayed the hell away from Twitter.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. To quote Butch, speaking to Sundance… Don’t sugarcoat it like that, Kid. Tell her straight.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yeah, I’m always beating around the bush. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I’ll say. Too busy laughing.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. And if not laughing then smiling. I’m telling you something needs to be done about that. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      13. NO…NO…ABSOLUTELY NOT…PART OF YOUR CEASELESS CHARM.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It would have been way more politically correct if the sculptor had been permitted to keep the figures he’d suggested. But I had no idea the thing cost so much, or that they’d planned on presenting the figures from waist-up. Most interesting and informative, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Debbie. There is a lot of history here.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It would be so cool to be there at the start. IΒ΄m sure I would say something stupid like, I wonder if theyΒ΄ll add Ronald Reagan later?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. I’m almost positive there won’t be any more added.

      Like

  12. Fascinating history facts, John. I did not know any of this. Great top ten too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jan

      Like

  13. This was fascinating – I never knew any of this. Thanks for the info, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you could stop by, Teri

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I can’t imagine this landmark by any other name but Rushmore, so maybe this is one of those times when we can be thankful for deep pockets winning the day, and the naming rights.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a super name. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. What? you mean this wasn’t a natural phenomenon? It was man-made! I am shocked, I tell you, shocked! πŸ˜‰
    It was fantastic to see it in person. Thanks for the history on its creation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucky you. I need to see it too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, you do!!

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks for the history lesson, John! Great job, and I’ve never been there, either, but it’s also on my list. Hopefully, someday…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We all need to go. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You have outdone yourself on this history-packed Top Ten, John. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The presidents all look very stern, John. Some great facts here. I wonder what they would think of the current situation in the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They would be appalled. Rewriting history by the left wing would bother them the most I think.

      Like

  19. Never been but woukd love to visit someday πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too, Naya. Thanks for the visit. 😊

      Like

  20. Great pot John. I remember watching a documentary about this landmark and the fact that it was never fully completed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. 😁

      Like

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