In celebration of South Dakota Archive Month, the Case Library at Black Hills State University will present Beyond Mount Rushmore: Three Other Black Hills Faces Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the David B. Miller Student Union, Jacket Legacy Room.
Mary A. Kopco, director of Adams Museum, the Historic Adams House and the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in Deadwood, will tell the history of Mount Rushmore.
According to Kopco, in 1923 Doane Robinson, the superintendent of the South Dakota State Historical Society, pitched a colossal idea to his United States senator, Peter Norbeck. Robinson proposed the carving of a patriotic monument out of one of the Black Hills’ granite rock formations. With Senator Norbeck on board, Robinson then approached famous sculptor Gutzon Borglum who also enthusiastically embraced the idea. By 1925, Borglum and four hundred workers had begun carving out the faces of four American presidents on a granite mountain named for nineteenth- century attorney Charles E. Rushmore. Completed in 1941, Mount Rushmore continues to attract millions of visitors to the Black Hills each year.
While the granite busts of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln may be South Dakota’s most identifiable faces, the region’s history is replete with the stories of the many people who carved out lives here. Kopco will talk about three remarkable people whose stories deserve to be told.
Kopco earned her M.A. in history from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and has been employed in the museum field for over 25 years. She was recognized with three Emmy certificates for providing historical research for the HBO® series Deadwood. Kopco’s book The Adams House Revealed was published in 2006. Most recently she edited and wrote an introduction for the South Dakota Historical Society Press anthology Beyond Mount Rushmore: Other Black Hills Faces.