Custer, South Dakota

Day 163


   Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski gained some fame at the 1939 New York World’s fair. As a result he was asked by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to come to the Black Hills of South Dakota and carve a mountain “to let the white man know the red man has great heroes also”. (You notice he said “red man” and not “native american”.)

     Chief Crazy Horse was chosen to be the subject because he never signed a treaty and refused to surrender. (He was killed by a U.S. soldier who stabbed him in the back while under a flag of truce (sound familiar?)).


     Although the project was started in 1948, it is still not completed because Korczak, and now The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, refuses support from State or Federal Government, but relies on donations.

     This is what the mountain will look like when the carving is completed. By my calculation, that will be in about 75 years. 


     They actually paint on the mountain an outline of what they will carve next, which will be the horse’s head.


     Just to put this is perspective, the faces on Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet high.


Technical Stuff:

Interior, SD to Custer, SD 119.0 miles

8.3 MPG

2 hours 58 minutes

Diesel: 2.43

5 thoughts on “Custer, South Dakota

  1. I was at Mt. Rushmore many years ago. And the crazy horse memorial looks the same as when I was there – meaning doesn’t look like there has been much progress.

    I liked Mt. Rushmore – or as I call it the ‘talking heads’


    1. My understanding is that when the sculptor that did Mt. Rushmore died, the work stopped. There was supposed to be more work done on the Presidents. At least here they say they are still working. When I asked the guide when was the last time they last used dynamite, the said over a year ago. He said they are doing finer carving with chisels.

  2. I really wish they would just take federal money and finish that thing. It has been going on for decades. It looks exactly the same as it did when we were there 5 years ago. In the area is Custer State Park, Great place to view a large bison herd.

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