(SD)-Historical Marker Honors "Father Of Mount Rushmore"
KEYSTONE, S.D. (AP) - A historical marker honoring the man who developed the idea for Mount Rushmore was unveiled this week a few miles from the mountain carving.
The bronze marker declares Doane Robinson as "The Father of Mount Rushmore" and is 3 miles south of Keystone, outside of a tunnel named for Robinson 2 years ago.
Robinson came up with the idea for Mount Rushmore in 1924 while serving as South Dakota's state historian, writing a letter inviting sculptor Gutzon Borglum to create a "heroic sculpture of unusual character."
Robinson's initial idea was to sculpt the nearby Needles - a region of eroded granite pillars, towers, and spires - but Borglum rejected the Needles because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from Native American groups.
They settled on Mount Rushmore, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure.
Robinson wanted it to feature heroes of the American West such as Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody but Borglum decided the sculpture should have broader appeal and chose the four presidents.
Mount Rushmore attracts more than 2 million visitors annually and contributes an estimated $3.8 billion in annual visitor spending to South Dakota's tourism industry.
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