May 31, 2022

Temperature 49 Degrees, Overcast, No Sun

Mount Rushmore, Part Two

I can’t believe it. Yesterday I spent the whole day doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Well, not exactly. I did get a blog completed. However in my defense it rained all day and the temperature never rose above 49 degrees. Thus, I took a day off. I say good for me.

Time now to finish up my blog on Mt. Rushmore. We’ve got a mountain. A sculptor. We know what is supposed to be carved on the mountain. So how exactly did it get carved on the mountain?

This is where the dream began to come to life. This is the studio where Borglum took the first steps toward making the Monument a physical reality. We were so bummed out that it was closed on the day we visited. Had we come one day later it would have been open. But back to what took place in the studio.

We now have models, examples of what was going to be carved on the mountain. How do we get from the models to the real life carvings that make up the monument today?

The men that possessed the title of chief pointer during the carving period were Hugo Villa, Lincoln Borglum and Jim LaRue.

Step one, create the models. Step Two, transfer measurements from the studio models to the real life carvings. Step three,

Deep drilling to prepare for blasting away the outside rough rock. Think about it, you are suspended in a simple sling chair, holding a jack hammer, trying to drill holes into solid granite. I saw a video of someone who was assigned this task and he stated that he usually had to chain himself to the mountain so that he could get enough purchase to drill a hole.

Once the figure was blocked to within several inches of the final surface drill holes were shorter and more closely spaced. Removing the honeycomb rock was then done by hand.

What was it like to work on the mountain?

The chair you sat in while you worked.

The winches that raised and lowered you to your work station.

However, not everyone was comfortable with actually working on the mountain face. I know I for one could never have been able to do it!

Getting to the top was either by tram and or by climbing up the 700 stairs that led to the top. It was said that the majority of the workers used the stairs since they did not trust the tram.

As for those who worked on the mountain.

Could I have had a long lost relative – Thomas S. Burns – who worked on the mountain? Maybe, maybe not.

We’ll end our tour of Mt. Rushmore with this.

Mt. Rushmore must be viewed in person in order to truly appreciate it grandeur and its beauty. But it is more than the mountain. It is the trails, the museum, the terrace and so much more. Our time there was definitely the highlight of this trip. If you have never been there I encourage you to make it a must trip sometime in the future. You will not regret it. I guarantee it.

Thanks again for spending some time with us.  It’s always great to be able to share our story with family and friends. Comments? Feel free to share them with me. And always remember, cherish every moment of every day that God gives you and live those moments to the fullest.

Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before


  1. Very interesting! And you make an excellent point about Mt. Rushmore. It’s not just the mountain; it’s so much more. The more we learn about where we are, the richer, the better, the experience. Your point is key! Isn’t it amazing there were no fatalities during the making of it? Good for you for taking the day off! As my mom would say, “You must of needed it.” btw – The scale – 1 inch to 1 foot – is the most common scale used in dollhouses.


    1. I agree, the more we learn, the richer our lives are. Not one fatality, even when the cable on the tram broke sending the car crashing to the bottom station. The records indicate that just before it hit the roof of the station house it twisted and landed with just a thump. Now how about that! Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is an amazing turn of events. 🙂 Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But really, the tram falling and nobody getting hurt – has to be divine intervention! Enjoy your day, too!


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