Facts about Mount Rushmore

8 Facts about Mount Rushmore: Untold Stories

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Have you ever gazed at Mount Rushmore and wondered about the stories behind them? This national treasure is brimming with untold stories and secrets hidden in plain sight. Thus, we’ll discover the fascinating facts about Mount Rushmore.

Moreover, this iconic monument holds secrets beyond the granite faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Did you know the carvers used dynamite to achieve such precision? In the information below, we’ll find out.

In this blog, we’ll explore facts about Mount Rushmore and its untold facts. Let’s begin!

1. Presidential Chairs

Mount Rushmore is a massive sculpture located in Pennington County, South Dakota which began in 1927. The memorial features presentations of four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Thus, the following are the reasons for which they are chosen.

George Washington (1789–1797) was chosen due to his role as the Founding Father. While Jefferson (1743–1826) was selected as the author of the Declaration of Independence, which embodied the spirit of expansion.

Furthermore, Roosevelt (1858–1919) was chosen because he personified conservation and national industrial prosperity. Also, Lincoln (1809–1865) was selected as the nation’s leader throughout the Civil War, showing integrity at all costs.

2. In whose honor is Mount Rushmore named?


Mount Rushmore was named after Charles E. Rushmore, a lawyer from New York who traveled to the Black Hills in 1884. Consequently, the area’s natural beauty impressed him and he lobbied for its preservation. In recognition, the peak was later named after him.

However, the Lakota people once called the peak T̻uŋkášila Šákpe, or the Six Grandfathers, before it became Mount Rushmore. They named it in honor of Nicolas Black Elk, a Lakota medicine man.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose the four presidents, packing with facts about Mount Rushmore on how they represent the four different eras of American history: birth, growth, development, and preservation. Thus, they honor the presidents, but it wasn’t named after them. It had its name long before the carvings began.

3. Sculptors used dynamite to complete 90% of the carvings

Laborers carved George Washington using 6,000 pounds of dynamite. Consider the number of explosives required for carving each of the four visages. It’s hard to imagine the precision required to use such a powerful tool for such delicate work.

As such, dynamite accomplished 90% of the carving of rock at Mount Rushmore. The sculptor developed a special technique to place the dynamite charges. This allowed the crew to remove large amounts of rock with incredible accuracy.

Almost 400 men and women labored at the memorial throughout the fourteen-year carving period, from 1927 to 1941. However, despite the challenges and dangerous conditions, not a single person died during carving.

4. Hall of Records

Hall of Records

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum conceived a fascinating idea for the Hall of Records in Mount Rushmore, but it was never fully completed. Besides that, he envisioned a grand chamber behind Abraham Lincoln’s head.

Moreover, Borglum’s plan was ambitious. He envisioned a room 80 feet tall and 100 feet long, lined with brass cabinets. It contains copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other significant American achievements in art, science, and industry.

Beneath Lincoln’s head, there is still a secret 70-foot tunnel containing 16 enamel panels that depict the facts about Mount Rushmore. Later, they named the peak after him in his honor.

5. Months before completion, the sculptor died

Borglum passed away in 1941, in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 73. It was due to complications from surgery. However, his legacy lives on in the granite presidents that continue to inspire awe for generations.

Following Borglum’s death, his son Lincoln took over the project and oversaw its completion in 1941, just a few months after his father’s passing. Lincoln, already familiar with the project, was able to take over and oversee the final stages of carving to completion.

Despite his failing health, Borglum remained dedicated to the project. Furthermore, some even worried that his death would leave the monument unfinished, for his artistic vision was so central to the project.

6. Original Plan for Mount Rushmore

The very first idea for the carvings wasn’t even presidents. Historian Doane Robinson wanted to showcase heroes of the American West, like Lewis and Clark, and even some Native American figures. However, Borglum switched and chose presidents to represent the birth, growth, preservation, and unification of the United States.

Adding to the interesting facts about Mount Rushmore, Borglum also had plans for a giant inscription next to the presidents called the Entablature. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete this part of the plan due to the challenging nature of the rock.

While Borglum had grand ideas, the mountain itself played a big role in shaping the final product. Cracks and weaknesses in the granite forced him to adjust the design and ultimately keep the carvings to the presidents’ heads.

7. Nature’s Guardians of the Presidents

A stand of hardy ponderosa pines surrounds Mount Rushmore. These pines are not only tough but also quite old. Moreover, their lifespans can reach up to 400 years. Beneath the presidents’ protective eye, they serve as a haven for a diverse range of avian and tiny fauna.

Besides that, a belief persists that some ponderosa pines once encircled Mount Rushmore. Thus, it’s believed that they were alive when the design for the monument first began. These silent giants offer a unique perspective on the ongoing facts about Mount Rushmore.

In addition, within the Black Hills environment, ponderosa pines are essential. On the slopes where Mount Rushmore is located, their roots help in keeping the soil in place and preventing erosion. Also, you could smell a tinge of butterscotch or vanilla when walking under the ponderosas. That’s the delightful aroma of their bark.

8. What Animals Live Here?

Bighorn Sheep

One of the many fascinating facts about Mount Rushmore is that it’s a thriving habitat for an unexpected range of animals. Likewise, visitors can witness bighorn sheep traversing the rocky crags near Mount Rushmore.

In addition, you might also spot some red foxes. These animals constantly search for a good meal. Consequently, you’ll see coyotes with their haunting howling as the sun sets. Moreover, the Black Hills are home to a variety of snake species as well. 

You will also see squirrels or chipmunks. They are lively animals constantly searching for seeds and nuts. Thus, these noisy animals regulate the amount of prey, which is an essential component of the Black Hills ecology.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, we explored the facts about Mount Rushmore and learned the stories behind the presidents. Moreover, we have gained construction techniques using dynamite. Also, the hidden chamber was discovered.

Besides that, we also explored the original plan featuring figures. From the Wild West to the ecological wonder of the surrounding Black Hills, and the unexpected wildlife that thrives there, above all, Mount Rushmore is an enduring symbol of American history, artistry, and tenacity.

So, what do you think? Does Mount Rushmore raise questions about its past? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Singam Horam

Also Read: 15 Biggest Things in the World that will definitely surprise you



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