1925, Borglum Hires On
On his second trip to South Dakota, Gutzon Borglum rejects the initial site for Doane Robinson's vision of sculptures, the columnar outcroppings of granite known as 'the Needles'. Instead, Borglum declares he will find a "suitable" mountain instead. (PBS). After some exploration, he finds Mount Rushmore, and declares the mountain to be perfect for the sculpture because of both the amount of full exposure to daylight that it receives as well as for the quality of the stone itself. Unfortunately, this location is the most holy place on earth for the Sioux, their cultural equivalent of the Garden of Eden from whence humans left the realms of union with the Great Spirit and entered this world. Their complaints are not heeded.
Funding is an issue from early on, with initial attempts to secure funds stymied in state legislature, until the third try when on April 5, 1925 the governor of South Dakota signs a bill establishing the Mount Harney National Memorial. John Bolard joins the team, and remains an influential organizer and manager of the administrative details of the project.