Published: December 3, 2019
RAPID CITY, S.D.— Donald Leo “Nick” Clifford, the last living carver of Mount Rushmore, died November 23 at the age of 98.
Clifford began working on the Mount Rushmore project at 17 years old, working there from 1938 to 1940 and earning 55 cents an hour. He was the youngest person ever hired to work on Mount Rushmore, according to the Rapid City Journal. Clifford was one of 400 workers who carried out sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s vision for the memorial between 1927 and 1941.
“I knew how to run a jackhammer, and that was the main requirement,” Clifford wrote wryly in his book, Mount Rushmore Q&A. “When I started drilling Lincoln, Borglum [Gutzon Borglum’s son and project manager] told me where to drill and how to do it.”
Until the end of his life, Clifford could not understate the importance of that work and its impact on him. He told the Rapid City Journal, “I feel like Mount Rushmore was the greatest thing with which I was ever involved. It tells a story that will never go away — the story of how America was made and the men who helped make it what it is today.”
May 17, 2022
May 10, 2022
April 19, 2022
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm