Home of the Peacepipe
Pipestone is the name of a county and a town in southwestern Minnesota. It is so named, and got its nickname, because of the beautiful red stone (similar in texture to soapstone but much firmer) which Indian tribes from all over the Upper Midwest came to mine in this area. The stone had a variety of uses but the most prominent was to make the peacepipes of western movie fame. I have one of them and have actually smoked it once but since I am no longer at war with my Indian brothers and sisters, it seems to be mostly decorative now. These and other quarries in the area were also the source of a harder quartzsite stone from which about 20 beautiful old buildings in the center of town were built.
The town is home to slightly over 40% of the approximately 10,000 people who live in Pipestone County. The entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places. The tree-lined streets and many stone buildings are well worth a visit.
For more info, call the Pipestone Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-336-6125.