The view of Mount Rushmore is almost inescapable in Keystone—but did you know that there are more than just those four presidents’ likeness in town? In fact, every single one of them can be found in one place; the National Presidential Wax Museum!
The museum was founded in 1971 by famous Hollywood wax sculptor Madame Katherine Stubergh, who had a life-long dream of opening a museum featuring our presidents. While she originally desired to be a professional dancer, her incomparable skill with wax sculpting has left us a national treasure. Madame Stubergh is responsible for the majority of the sculptures within the museum, but after her passing in 1996 her mentee Henry Alvarez continued her work in Keystone. Today, new figures are carved by award-winning master wax sculptor Jethro Crabb and his team.
Not only are the wax sculptures at the Presidential Wax Museum some of the most accurate representations of our presidents in the world, they are also set in painstakingly detailed exhibits. Visitors get to fully immerse themselves in historically appropriate showcases that highlight their presidency. For example, George W. Bush at Ground Zero in New York City, JFK deep in thought behind his desk in the Oval Office, and Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in on Air Force One.
While guests can walk the museum and simply enjoy the exhibits visually, the museum also offers a self-guided audio tour. They also offer a seven minute video on the process of creating a wax sculpture, which plays on repeat in the theater. For those who have children in their group, you can request a “scavenger hunt” from the ticket sales counter. This fun activity will test kids to listen carefully to the audio tour and read through every exhibit with a keen eye—if they complete all 20 questions they can receive a free National Presidential Wax Museum button for their efforts!
Keystone is full of wonderful history, and the Presidential Wax Museum is no exception. Guests take an average of 20 minutes to see the exhibits, but there’s plenty to delve into for two hours or more! Come experience the story of our presidents from the beginning until today—it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss while you’re here in Keystone. See their listing here for more information.