'We have come here to dedicate a cornerstone laid by the hand of the Almighty. ...The union of these four presidents carved on the face of the everlasting Black Hills of South Dakota ... will be distinctly American in its conception, in its magnitude, in its meaning. ... No one can look upon it without realizing it is a picture of hope fulfilled.'
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and President Calvin Coolidge had a rocky relationship (so to speak).
Even before Borglum had begun the carving of Mount Rushmore, he had annoyed the 30th president. Back in 1924, when Borglum was promoting his plan to carve Stone Mountain, Ga., into a Confederate memorial, he persuaded Coolidge to support a plan to mint special 50-cent coins to help raise money for the project. The coins were minted, but Borglum abandoned the project.
There's an old joke about two tourists in Custer State Park who encounter an agitated bull buffalo. One of the tourists reaches into his backpack, pulls out a pair of running shoes and puts them on.
"You really think you can run faster than that bison?" his friend asks.
"I don't have to run faster than the bison," the hiker replies as he bolts off across the pasture, leaving his friend behind.
If you want to understand bison behavior, there's one very important thing to remember. If the animal is flicking its tail, it's planning to either charge, or discharge. Better hope it's the latter, because there's not much you can do about the former.
However, there's no need to be overly concerned. Bikes and bison have coexisted quite nicely in Custer State Park since the first Sturgis Rally in 1938. But it's the biker's responsibility, not the bison's, to make the relationship work. While not exactly friendly, most bison are willing to ignore people in cars and on motorcycles.
In 1876, just two years after the Custer Expedition discovered gold in the Black Hills, prospectors found placer gold along Battle Creek two miles east of present-day Keystone. They established a town and named it Harney. The placer gold, in gravel along creek beds, played out after just a couple of years. Harney disappeared.
In 1883, the Harney Peak Hydraulic Gold Mining Co. used high-pressure water to blast the gold from deep in the gravel beds. At one time, a 200-foot-tall trestle spanned the 700 feet across the gulch over present-day Winter Street. That same year, 1883, the hard-rock Etta Mine was established to mine mined mica, tin and other minerals. Other operations soon followed, including the Keystone Mine, the Ingersoll Mine and the Holy Terror Mine -- named for the wife of one of the mine’s founders.
Over the next several decades Keystone’s rock yielded gold and more exotic minerals such as arsenic, feldspar, mica, beryl, cassiterite, tantalite, columbite, amblygonite, lepidolite, spodumene and quartz.
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