Keystone, South Dakota
The City of Keystone has a small population of around 315, stable for the past approximately 10 years. However, the constant stream of tourists raises this figure to between 6,000 and 8,000 during the May to September tourist season. Then Keystone's main function is to provide services for visitors to the area's attractions, including the famous Mount Rushmore National Monument which is located just beyond the city limits.
The look of the city is Old West, with restaurants, souvenir shops, casinos and overnight accommodations. Its history begins in the gold rush era but instead of dying out, Keystone profited from the richness of its other commercial minerals, including feldspar, mica, quartz and columbite. There was even an arsenic extraction operation since the gold ores being mined in 1924 contained arsenic. In the early 1900s, the 2,000 inhabitants of Keystone went through hard times, with an economic downturn due to mining accidents, resulting in numerous deaths, as well as a series of fires.
Logging was the next major industrial shift with tourism becoming increasingly important thanks to the spectacle that was shaping up on the nearby mountain face. Gutzon Borglum is responsible for this well-known memorial which he worked on during a 14-year period beginning in 1927. His work assured that the tourist industry would stay strong in Keystone for years to come.
- Mount Rushmore National Monument
- horse trail riding
- Old Town walking tour
- Big Thunder Gold Mine, tourist attraction
- Rushmore Tramway
- Keystone Historical Museum, housed in a Victorian-age schoolhouse
- Borglum Historical Centre
- National Presidential Wax Museum
- Wildcat Valley Sanctuary of the Black Hills
- Beautiful Rushmore Cave
- Custer State Park