Black Elk Peak: A History by Bradley Saum
The history of Black Elk Peak--previously known as Hinhan Kaga and, more recently, as Harney Peak--remained segmented and scattered throughout the shadows of antiquity, until now. The natural landmark's namesake, Black Elk, experienced his great vision here, solidifying his status as a Sioux holy man. Obstructed by the insurmountable granite, General Custer and his horse nearly summited during the 1874 expedition. On that granite, sculptor Gutzon Borglum made the decision to carve a grand monument into the face of nearby Mount Rushmore. Prior to serving as the first Pine Ridge Reservation Indian agent and then mayor of Rapid City, Valentine McGillycuddy documented his ascent to the peak in 1875, where his ashes would come to rest.