Dirty Jobs host takes on Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse up close
Crazy Horse up close(Aleah Burggraff)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:19 PM MST
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CUSTER, S.D. (KEVN) - 1948 Korczak Ziolkowski began work on Crazy Horse to honor the Native American warrior.

A lot has changed since then for the mountain sculpture including the methods used to carve it.

Vaughn Ziolkowski said when he started working there almost 7 years ago, they were still blasting rock using chimes and wedges.

“Which is a pretty old way of removing the rock,” said Ziolkowski

“Now we have moved to where we are taking these blocks out, instead of doing multiple drilling over and over again or repetitive blocks after block, e can drill less number of holes and use a diamond wire to saw off the blocks,” said Jeff Hermanson, Mountain Crew Supervisor.

Despite new technology, the hardest part of the job is still the physical labor and working out in the elements.

So, who wanted to take a stab at the position?

“I had actually met Mike Rowe at CON/AGG, which is an equipment show, and had shown him a picture that was taken back then,” said Hermanson.

The Dirty Jobs host tried his hand at the methods used to carve the mountain.

“He had a bit of a tricky time with the drilling. He was trying to do too much at once, in his defense, so it was a little tough. We were able to make it work the holes that he drilled. You could tell that he used a drill before because it’s definitely not an easy thing to do, but he did alright,” said Ziolkowski.

“Mike Rowe was great to work with, the crew was great to work with, and I hope he comes back to see an update on the progress so we can kind of have a before and after.”

But would Rowe be able to work with Korczak himself?

“Working with Korczak was demanding. Would Mike get along with Korczach? I think so, they’re both artistic,” claimed Hermanson.

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