Mary Ellis Borglum - Mount Rushmore's Hall of Records

Last Updated by Brian Gevik on
All Images & Video Courtesy: Historical Footprints, Inc., Lead, SD

Mary Ellis Borglum (1916 - 2002) was the only daughter of Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his second wife, Mary. Born in Atlanta, Georgia during the sculptor's Stone Mountain project, Mary Ellis and her older brother Lincoln moved as their parents moved, living and growing up in Connecticut, Texas, and Keystone, South Dakota.

On August 10, 1998, Mary Ellis attended a ceremony on top of Mount Rushmore at the unfinished Hall of Records, which is situated in a gorge behind the heads. She came to watch the placement of a permanent time capsule containing copies of important documents and other artifacts related to American history and the carving of the mountain. This act completed the plans laid out by her father and brother, and made the Borglum's artistic vision whole - to the greatest extent possible. 

Watch video from the 1998 placement of the time capsule. 

Images of the Past Mount Rushmore's Hall of Records Time Capsule Mary Ellis Borglum at the placement of a permanent time capsule on Mount Rushmore.


In this clip, Mary Ellis Borglum talks about the reasons for the time capsule, and why her father felt strongly that a Hall of Records had to be a part of the carving. Lincoln Borglum had worked hard to raise money for the Hall and the time capsule, but his efforts fell short. Mary Ellis herself dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to see the project completed.

Images of the Past Why Mount Rushmore's Hall of Records & Time Capsule Matter Sculptor Gutzon Borglum wanted future generations to know the who and why of Rushmore


gutzon and mary borglumGutzon and Mary Borglum

Mary Ellis also talked about her mother, Mary, and what became of her after Gutzon Borglum passed away.

Mary Ellis Borglum: Her Mother Mary The daughter of sculptor Gutzon Borglum talks about her mother's life.


Dakota Midday

Interview with Wayne Pananen, a video producer acquainted with Mary Ellis Borglum.

Host: Lori Walsh


Photos of Mary Ellis Borglum Vhay

mary ellis borglum with gutzonWith father, Gutzon Borglum

mary ellis borglum as a young girl

mary ellis borglum

mary ellis and lincoln borglumMary Ellis and brother Lincoln


Mount Rushmore Models

Mount Rushmore Carvers

American Experience: Mount Rushmore