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Quarries – National Monument

507-825-5464 • H-1 Map Coordinates

The pipestone quarries have an importance that goes much beyond

their size.

dhere is evidence pipestone was ƋƵarried at least since the Ɵme of

Ƶropean edžploraƟon. ManLJ edžplorers of the Minnesota reŐion refer

to the edžistence of a ƋƵarrLJ of the red stone.

A French explorer in 1684 wrote that while Indians used many pipes,

those made from red stone ;as at PipestoneͿ were the most esteemed

and their Ƶse ͞had the same effect as a ŇaŐ of friendship amonŐ the


dhe relaƟvelLJ soŌ stone is foƵnd as a laLJer in the verLJ hard SioƵdž

quartzite stone. Sands in a shallow sea were cemented together to

form the SioƵdž ƋƵartnjite. dhe soŌer pipestone is formed of a different


/t is thoƵŐht to have ďeen laid down at a different period of different

materials and ended Ƶp soŌ enoƵŐh to ďe carved into thinŐs sƵch as


dhere are manLJ leŐends reŐardinŐ the stone and the Ƶses of the pipe.

/nformaƟon on these is availaďle at the NaƟonal MonƵment, as are

parƟcƵlar ďooks on the sƵďject of the pipe.

Today, only American Indians are allowed to quarry pipestone. It is

a laďorioƵs task, involvinŐ ƵncoverinŐ the vein of pipestone within

the SioƵdž ƋƵartnjite. Several ƋƵarries are in operaƟon at the NaƟonal

MonƵment. sisitors can see these, as well as ďƵildinŐs aroƵnd town

made from the harder SioƵdž ƋƵartnjite.

Three Maidens

J-2 Map Coordinates

dhese larŐe Őranite ďoƵlders have lonŐ ďeen known as the dhree Maidens.

With smaller fraŐments, theLJ once formed one larŐe sinŐle ďoƵlder

some 50 feet in diameter. dhe ďoƵlder was deposited ďLJ Őlaciers. dhere

are varioƵs leŐends reŐardinŐ the dhree Maidens, a popƵlar Pipestone


Three Maidens • Photo by Erica Volkir, Pipestone

Winnewissa Falls • Photo by Julie Carrow, Pipestone