In 1911, Carrie Ingalls arrived in Keystone to manage the Keystone Recorder and other Black Hills newspapers. No one knew it at the time -- not even the Carrie – but she would become Keystone’s most famous citizen.
Her older sister, Laura Ingalls Wilder, published the first of her “Little House on the Prairie” books in 1932. Laura chronicled the pioneer life of the Ingalls family, including her older sister Mary and younger sister Carrie.
The family settled near De Smet, S.D., in 1879, and Carrie spent the rest of her life in South Dakota. By the time she moved to Keystone, Carrie was 41 and a veteran newspaperwoman. On Aug. 1, 1912, she married David Swanzey and quit her job to raise her stepchildren. She lived in Keystone until her death in 1946. At the free Keystone Historical Museum, you can learn more about the 35 years Carrie spent in Keystone.
Although you might not know it by driving down Winter Street, known as “The Strip,” Keystone is one of the Black Hills’ oldest towns, with a rich history that dates back to the earliest days of the Great Black Hills Gold Rush.
Take a drive down Madill Street, and you'll see Old Keystone, with historic buildings, shuttered mines and an Old West history that rivals Deadwood, Custer, Rapid City and Hill City. The story of Keystone is a story of a resilient little city that refused to become a ghost town.
Getting this project underway was a challenge all by itself. Once Doane Robinson and others had found a sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, they had to get permission to do the carving. Senator Peter Norbeck and Congressman William Williamson were instrumental in getting the legislation passed to allow the carving. Williamson drafted two bills, one each to be introduced in the United States Congress and the South Dakota Legislature. The bill requesting permission to use federal land for the memorial easily passed through Congress. The bill sent to the South Dakota Legislature faced more opposition. The Mount Harney National Memorial bill was defeated twice before narrowly passing. Governor Gunderson signed the bill on March 5, 1925, and established the Mount Harney Memorial Association later that summer.
Mount Rushmore is a project of colossal proportion, colossal ambition and colossal achievement. It involved the efforts of nearly 400 men and women. The duties involved varied greatly from the call boy to drillers to the blacksmith to the housekeepers. Some of the workers at Mount Rushmore were interviewed, and were asked, "What is it you do here?" One of the workers responded and said, "I run a jackhammer." Another worker responded to the same question, " I earn $8.00 a day." However, a third worker said, "I am helping to create a memorial." The third worker had an idea of what they were trying to accomplish.
Learn more about the life of Gutzon Borglum and his other works. Lincoln Borglum was his father's right hand man and unsung hero of this project.
You might ask yourself why these four presidents were chosen, we have the answer for you. Click to read more about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt & Abraham Lincoln.
Guided trail rides in small group setting from 1 hr. to 1/2 day and overnight trips on Black Hills National Forest. Open 7 days/week: Memorial Weekend through Sept. Only minutes from Keystone/Mt. Rushmore. Located one mile south of Crazy Horse Memorial on Hwy 385/16 at Heritage Village Village near Custer.
“LET US DO THE DRIVING”
Choose from a 9 hour tour or a 9 hour tour plus 2 meals and a show! Advance reservations recommended due to limited seating. All tours are on restroom equipped air conditioned coaches. Pick up your tickets at Fort Hays, 15 miles North of Keystone on Hwy 16.
6 Newly constructed cabins on 4 acres of mountain meadow, 5 miles from Mt. Rushmore. Fully furnished kitchen, propane BBQ grill, linens provided. Playground, basketball court, fire pits. Family owned and operated.
Battle Creek Lodge, Only 2 miles from the world famous Mt. Rushmore and nestled amid spectacular rocks above historic Battle Creek, this cozy lodge provides a nostalgic hide away in plain sight. - Rated as one of the best values in the Southern Hills. King/Queen Beds, Dish Network, Flat screen TVs, Free Wi-Fi, and a deluxe continental breakfast. The fire pit is a guest favorite and a perfect way to end your adventure-filled day.