The Hidden Chamber Within Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is a United States National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Construction of the main sculpture began in 1927 and lasted until October 1941. It features facial carvings of four prominent United States Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed and oversaw the project. While Mount Rushmore may look like nothing more than four faces chiseled into the side of a mountain, there’s more than meets the eye. Borglum had big plans that he kept out of sight to the general public. See what he was dreaming up and what’s kept behind the heads of our forefathers today.

The Father of Mount Rushmore

In 1923, historian Doane Robinson, known as “The Father of Mount Rushmore,” came up with the idea to construct a monument to increase tourism in South Dakota. In 1924, he contacted sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Borglum was involved with The Confederate Memorial Carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia.

Photo Credit: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

Robinson expressed his desire to do a similar carving in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and Borlgum agreed. Originally, the monument was supposed to be in a location known as the Needles near Custer, South Dakota. However, the granite pillars proved to be too thin and would have risked crumbling.