Mountain Update December 5, 2016

For the second #MountainMonday in a row we would like to feature our “Meet the Crew Series” with another long-time Crew Member. This introduction is special in that we are including a heartfelt thank you as this carver is retiring after nearly 26 years partaking in the Dream. We hope you enjoy a glimpse at the life of Mountain Crew Member Duane S. 
Duane began his journey with Crazy Horse in Aprilof 1991. He had prior experience as a driller and blaster working for Pacer as well as being involved in preparing the area to rebuild the highway between Keystone and Mt. Rushmore. 
The first of Duane’s work on the Mountain was helping to remove another 17 feet of rock from Crazy Horse’s outstretched Arm. He explained the process involving vertical and horizontal drilling somewhat like present day, but also having the ability to blast because of the distance they were from finish grade. Duane recalls using a labor-intensive crank hand drill holding a jackhammer for drilling horizontal toe holes and equipment such as the Leroy track drill to create vertical holes. 
Drilling and blasting were a favorite part of the job for Duane. He enjoyed being a member of ISEE (International Society of Explosives Engineers), attending annual seminars and learning about the newest techniques and technologies in the industry. 
Duane has many memories of working at Crazy Horse, mostly good times he said recalling fighting the elements being the worst of it. With many to choose from he stated “One of my fondest memories was meeting Mrs. Z…and my family getting to know the Ziolkowski family personally.” 
Being part of a truly unique undertaking, Duane shared that he would like it if people knew “how big the project is…and what it’s taken to get it this far and what it’s going to take to complete it. It’s no easy task.” He explained.
Duane doesn’t have any firm retirement plans yet. However, he enjoys leisure activities that include hunting, fishing and camping right here in the Black Hills he calls home. 
Duane shared the fact that after 2 ½ decades, he is retiring - unable to physically carry on with the requirements of his position on the Mountain Crew. We are grateful for Duane’s many years of service on the Mountain and for his dedication in carrying on the Dream.

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  • “No one is ever wrong who desires to do that which is not required of them to do — and that which is of a noble purpose. The purpose of Crazy Horse is noble.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes also.”
    Chief Henry Standing Bear
  • “When the legends die, the dreams end. When the dreams end, there is no more greatness.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “The Important thing is that we never stop. That’s the main thing. And if you looked at it as strictly a view of being finished, you could get awfully distracted waiting for that day to come. This way, you’re pleased with every little step of progress that you make.”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.”
    Crazy Horse
  • “By carving Crazy Horse, if I can give back to the Indian some of his pride and create a means to keep alive his culture and heritage, my life will have been worthwile.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “He left everything so we can carry on his work, and that’s just what we’re going to do. We’re dedicated to that. His whole life would be wasted if the mountain carving and the humanitarian goals are not completed.”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”
    Crazy Horse
  • “If it weren’t for each and every one you, whether your gift was small or large monetarily, whether it was friendship and encouragement, without you we wouldn’t be here…”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “Standing Bear explained that the Indian has a concept of honoring their great heroes that’s totally different from the white man’s. It was difficult for me to understand at first…The Indian uses the direct approach. He says: that man was my ancestor, and he was a great man, so we should honor him-I would not lie or cheat because I am his blood”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor

Crazy Horse Memorial
12151 Avenue of the Chiefs
Crazy Horse, SD 57730-8900

(605) 673-4681


Upcoming Events

  • Memorial Weekend
    May 25-28

    Memorial Weekend <br />May 26-29,<br /> 2017
    Native American’s across this great nation have served and sacrificed in the United States Military, join us to honor all fallen heroes who fought and protected our freedom. American Indian artists will be featured throughout the Welcome Center. Admission to the Memorial will be waived with 3 cans of food per person.
  • Legends in Light
    May 25-Sep 30

    Legends in Light<br /> May 26-Oct 1<br />
    This spectacular light show tells the story of the Memorial in laser lights projected onto the Mountain. You will be treated to the story of Chief Henry Standing Bear’s invitation to Korczak, Ruth’s contributions and special features of many Native American heroes. This must see show is featured nightly at dark, for sun down times click here:
  • Native Americans’Day
    Oct 8

    Native Americans’ Day  Oct 10, 2016
    Governor George S. Mickelson and the SD legislature declared 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation”, the day formerly known as Columbus Day became Native American Day. Native American Day at Crazy Horse Memorial is celebrated by planned activities for kids, program and performers, Educator of the Year is awarded and (weather permitting) a mountain blast. Admission is waved to the Memorial with 3 cans of food per person.