For some older folks out there they might remember when this monument first got started. Can you believe that was 70 years ago?

It has always been a private project. The federal government offered to step in several times and help fund it, but the family working on the project refused them every time.

The first blast of rock happened back in 1948. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski wanted to memorialize Crazy Horse with something he thought might last over a thousand years.

Korczak was backed by Native American chief Standing Bear who saw historical importance in the project.

Wake Up Wyoming logo
Get our free mobile app

Korczak built a staircase with over 700 steps to the top of the mountain. He worked without water or electricity. Seven of his ten children help him.

He worked for 34 years on the project and died in 1982. Others picked up where he left off. He was buried at the foot of the monument in honor of his dedication with one quote on his tombstone. “Go slowly, so you do it right,”

Upon completion, it will be 563ft tall and 641ft long, which is four times taller than the Statue of Liberty. When finished it will be counted as one of the great wonders of the world. How long it took to finish only adds to its wonder.

That means South Dakota will have one of the largest monuments in the world, besides Mt. Rushmore. All of this is made from the solid granite of Thunderhead Mountain in South Dakota.

Currently, the monument attracts over 40,000 visitors per year and rakes in $12.5 million in admission and donations annually.

The Hidden Treasures Of Wyoming's Natural Bridge

Look closely, there are gems you might miss.

Inside The Cars At The Douglas Wyoming Train Museum

More From Wake Up Wyoming