(PCM) The Presidential faces carved into the surface of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota is one of the most recognizable landmark monuments in the United States, but did you know that they contain a bit of mystery as well? There happens to be a hidden room located just behind Abraham Lincoln’s hairline that was planned to be a place where a person could visit and learn everything they needed to know about the history of the mountain, the United States government and more! At one point it was even supposed to house historical documents such as the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The creation of Mount Rushmore took about 14 years of planning and sculpting by artist Gutzon Borglum, however he feared that once the monument was completed it would later be shrouded in mystery without some sort of explanation as to why the four Presidents depicted for the monument,George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, were so influential and chosen to be displayed on the mountainside by the artist.
In an effort to educate visitors about the history of the monument, Borglum planned to include a massive room that he would call the Hall Of Records and have it’s location be a direct part of the monument itself. In 1938, Borglum and his team began blasting away an area that was supposed to become the Hall Of Records, however that work was never completed when funding for the project was shut-down in 1941 when Borglum passed away and the South Dakota government officials declared the project completed.
What ended up being completed was an 18 foot doorway that led to a 75 foot by 35 foot tall room. There is still red paint on the walls that was placed to instruct workers on where to blast and multiple holes from floor to ceiling where dynamite was supposed to be placed. The room is still in place in it’s current condition and is inaccessible to tourists looking to take a peek.
Years later Borglum’s family petitioned the government to complete the room and honor his memory. In 1998, the government agreed and multiple porcelain plaques were laid in the ground at the site of the room that explained the mountains history and Borglum’s artistic vision. It reads:
“I want, somewhere in America, on or near the Rockies, the backbone of the Continent, so far removed from succeeding, selfish, coveting civilizations, a few feet of stone that bears witness, carries the likeness, the dates, a word or two of the great things we accomplished as a Nation, placed so high it won’t pay to pull them down for lesser purposes.
Hence, let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and rain alone shall wear them away.”
The Hall of Records has since been sealed, but also enclosed are tablets that contain the story of our nation. According to NationalParksTraveler.com, sixteen porcelain enamel panels containing the text from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, along with a biography of Borglum, and the story of the presidents, were sealed in a teakwood box, then placed in a titanium vault, and finally sealed shut under the weight of a 1,200 pound granite capstone inside the unfinished hall.
These artifacts are meant to be buried for thousands of years and when eventually unearthed instruct future civilizations about the history of the United States.