PAGE 10 PIPESTONE VISITOR'S GUIDE 2017 EDITION
Quarries – National Monument
507-825-5464 • H-1 Map Coordinates
The pipestone quarries have an importance that goes much beyond
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.
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