From Mining to Tourism
Keystone is a commercial enclave just a few miles from Mount Rushmore National Memorial. In summer, the town is streaming with tourists and visitors who stay during their visit to the massive stone carving.
Established as a mining town in 1883, Keystone is now known as a resort town. Mining operations such as the Keystone Mine, the Etta Mine and the Holy Terror Mine – named for the mine owner’s wife – extracted gold, mica, tin, muscovite, niobium, tantalum, beryl and feldspar from beneath the Black Hills.
While mining may have launched Keystone, Mount Rushmore helped it survive. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began carving the images of four U.S. presidents on the mountain in 1927. Nearby Keystone prospered from worker wages and the increase stream of curious tourists who came today the project.
Today, some 2 million people a year visit Mount Rushmore, and nearly all of them pass through Keystone. The town of 350 people is devoted almost exclusively to tourism. Local businesses include:
- Big Thunder Gold Mine
- 1880 Train-Black Hills Central Railroad
- Keystone Historical Museum
- National Presidential Wax Museum
- Rushmore Borglum Story
- Rushmore Cave
- Rushmore Helicopters, Inc.
- Rushmore Tramway Adventures