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Category: History  Listing Date: 2014-05-02

Mountain View Cemetery

David N. Swanzey gravesiteDavid N. Swanzey gravesite
Wild Horse Harry Hardin gravesiteWild Horse Harry Hardin gravesite

The Mountain View Cemetery in Keystone is the only cemetery in the world with a view of Mount Rushmore. The original land was part of the Harney National Forest and was originally deeded to the Modern Woodman of America, a fraternal lodge and was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, whose likeness looks down on the cemetery. Patrick F. Hayes, a member of the Modern Woodmen of American, physically laid out the cemetery in 1900. The first remains interred in the cemetery were Catherine Hayes, an 18 month old daughter of Patrick Hayes. It was not coincidental that Catherine's body be buried here at that time. Her body was exhumed from the Harney Cemetery, three miles downstream. The Harney Cemetery was abandoned the very same year. The boundaries of the cemetery are in the shape of a lopsided truncated diamond very similar to the old time wooden caskets. This configuration happened by change and determined by the natural terrain. The old time caskets or coffins were symmetrical.

Local historians have a field day with the cemetery. David N. Swanzey is interred here. Swanzey was a friend of Charles Rushmore and Gutzon Borglum and was involved with the naming of Mount Rushmore and married Carrie Ingalls of "Little House on the Prairie." One of the most impressive markers is that of "Wild Horse" Harry Hardin. He posed as a bearded prospector with his donkey, "Sugar Babe" and his makeup character was used to advertise Landstrom's Black Hills gold jewelry. He told the visitors that he was a survivor of the Custer Massacre. Unfortunately, his marker indicates he was born in 1896, twenty years after General George Armstrong Custer was killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

David N. Swanzey's son, Harold David "Davey" "Red" Swanzey was a worker at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Posted with keywords: mountan, view, cemetery, keystone, sd, mount rushmore,