So, with this post we will be all up to date, hooray!
We awoke to a lovely hot sunny day in the Black Hills of Dakota and set off to see the Mount Rushmore National Monument.
Mount Rushmore National Monument is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum. Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).] The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.
South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region.
Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national focus, and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. The memorial began in 1927, and the presidents’ faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum’s death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum became sculptor in charge of the commission and the last drilling was done on October 31st 1941.
Some of you know that I like my films (movies) so you can imagine how surprised I was today when we were driving down to Mount Rushmore and there on the side of the road was a sign advertising a Dances with Wolves movie site!! Further investigation was required.
On the site there are the buildings that were used in the filming of the Fort Hays scenes in the film. The scenes were actually shot using these buildings sixteen miles away and were supposed to have been torn down after filming was completed but the production company just left them. Someone local bought them and moved them to their current location, had them rebuilt as they were, including the bullet hole in a pane of glass. They have photographs of the shoot, scenes from the movie showing and a behind-the-scenes DVD with Kevin Costner talking about making the film.
There’s a yellow piece of tape on the floor where Kevin Costner stood when shooting the scene where he first went to Fort Hays and spoke to Major Fainborough about a posting and who subsequently shot himself. Of course, I had to stand on that piece of yellow tape!
After that we went to visit Deadwood. The town attained notoriety for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and the local cemetery remains the final resting place of Hickok and Calamity Jane. Deadwood became known for its wild and almost lawless reputation, during which time murder was common, and punishment for murders not always fair and impartial.