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Pipestone History


Visit the Historic District

Your trip to Pipestone won’t be complete without a visit to

our Downtown Historic District. A trip down Main Street will

take you to the heart of the district.

OƵr pioneers leŌ Ƶs a leŐacLJ in stone. &rom the ƋƵarries

nearďLJ craŌsmen oďtained plenƟfƵl sƵpplies of naƟve

SioƵdž YƵartnjite ďƵildinŐ stone which theLJ Ƶsed for com-

mercial and pƵďlic ďƵildinŐs.

ManLJ of these ďƵildinŐs remain for oƵr admiraƟon todaLJ.

Several of them have been fully restored. Several are

pictƵred on these paŐes.

/n the late 1ϵ70͛s these ƵniƋƵe ďƵildinŐs were recoŐninjed

ďLJ their desiŐnaƟon as a historic district on the NaƟonal

ZeŐister. /t was one of the Įrst to ďe desiŐnated as a district

and its ďoƵndaries have ďeen fƵrther enlarŐed ďLJ local

desiŐnaƟon of sites.

dhese ďƵildinŐs were constrƵcted primarilLJ from 1880

to 1900. Most are in the downtown area or within a few

ďlocks thereof. zoƵ are invited to enjoLJ these ďƵildinŐs.

More informaƟon and ŐƵided toƵrs are availaďle at the

Pipestone CoƵntLJ MƵseƵm, 113 SoƵth Hiawatha ;M-11 on

mapͿ. WalkinŐ toƵr ďrochƵres are also availaďle.


Some ďƵildinŐs in Pipestone are desiŐnated ďLJ these

markers. dheLJ Őive a ďrief resƵme of the historLJ of the

ďƵildinŐ and have ďeen placed as fƵnds permit ďLJ local


Town Founding

zoƵ͛ll Įnd Pipestone a town rich in historLJ, ďƵt amonŐ

commƵniƟes in Minnesota it was comparaƟvelLJ late to ďe


dhat͛s ďecaƵse seƩlers knew the area as ͞/ndian CoƵntrLJ͟

and there was some fear of seƩlinŐ near the ƋƵarries

where the /ndians oďtained their red stone for fashioninŐ


dhe Įrst seƩler was C.H. BenneƩ, who visited the area

in Septemďer 1873. A 20-ďlock townsite for the citLJ was

surveyed by Daniel E. Sweet the next April.

BenneƩ was a drƵŐŐist from >eMars, /owa. He was ďorn in

1846 in hnion CitLJ, Mich., one of foƵr towns foƵnded ďLJ his

father. ChoosinŐ a site aďoƵt a mile soƵth of the pipestone

ƋƵarries for the town, he erected the Įrst ďƵildinŐ in the

coƵntLJ at a site now occƵpied ďLJ Atlas &or >ife at 101 2nd

St. N. . ;M-ϵ map coordinatesͿ.

A replica of the 6 dž 8 dž 5 claim shantLJ has ďeen ďƵilt at

the Pipestone CoƵntLJ MƵseƵm. dhroƵŐhoƵt his lifeƟme

BenneƩ was a ceaseless promoter of the town and served

in manLJ capaciƟes.

He operated a drƵŐ store for manLJ LJears and his wife

promoted cƵltƵral acƟviƟes.

A small park was made at the corner of 2nd St. N.E. and

HiŐhwaLJs 75 Θ 23 and is dedicated in his memorLJ. dhe park

incorporates the BenneƩ stone from his drƵŐ store ďƵild-

inŐ. ;dhe drƵŐ store was ranjed several LJears aŐo.Ϳ

Daniel Sweet, who surveyed the town, later served as a

proďate jƵdŐe and postmaster and Őave the citLJ several

tracts of land, inclƵdinŐ that now occƵpied ďLJ the CoƵrt-

hoƵse and ŐroƵnds.

Pipestone Court House • Photo by Julie Carrow, Pipestone

Snowing Downtown Pipestone

Downtown Pipestone • Photo by Mark Thode, Pipestone