Heintzelman's Black Hills Vacation 2010 travel blog

Crazy Horse Memorial

Actual beads traded by the Dutch to the Indians for Manhatten Island...

Model of the finished Crazy Horse Memorial

Original Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Coach

In 1940, Sioux tribal leaders asked sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve a memorial to Crazy Horse in the Black Hills. Crazy Horse was one of the greatest Sioux warriors. He is the one that led the Sioux victory at the Fetterman Massacre. CPT Fetterman bragged that he could "Ride over the Sioux nation with 80 troopers". Crazy Horse lured Fetterman and ironically 80 troopers away from Ft. Kearney in 1866 and ambushed him with 1,000 warriors. Crazy Horse killed every person in CPT Fetterman's command. Crazy Horse was also one of the Indian leaders at the Battle of Little Bighorn which was the worse military defeat for the US Army during the Indian Wars. He surrendered to the US Army in 1877 and was killed trying to escape from the US Army guard house where he was being held prisoner.

Ziolkowski, who was working with Gutzon Borglum on Mount Rushmore, agreed to carve the memorial. He began carving in 1948 after he was discharged from the Army which he served in during WWII. He worked on the memorial by himself because he refused government funds. He knew that the government would not finish the project or turn it into something that him and the tribal leaders did not want. The Crazy Horse memorial is funded 100% by private donations. Ziolkowski died in 1982 but most of his 9 children are running or carving the Crazy Horse Memorial. There is no completion date for the memorial but it will be the largest carving in the world. There is a fantastic Indian Museum and Cultural center at the memorial.

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