We list this as an Off-the-Beaten-Path tip because it is outside the boundaries of Pipestone National Monument, although it is directly across the highway from the entrance.
Fort Pipestone is a privately owned and operated authenic replica of a Minnesota fort constructed on September 3, 1863, duiring the Sioux uprising. On that date local residents hastily erected a stockade for defense against the Indians.
Early the next morning, soon after some 240 people had taken refuge there, the fort was attacked. The Indians were driven off, but a state of siege existed for 10 days before Company #9 of the fifth Minnesota Volunteer Regiment arrived on the scene.
Admission to the fort is free. It contains a large gift shop and a few exhibits.
On the high plains of southwestern Minnesota some farmers are harvesting the wind, to generate electrical power. As we approached Pipestone National Monument from the north we were amazed to see dozens of hugh wind turbines stretching across the landscape, blades whirling. Driving east after leaving Pipestone we saw many more.
We were interested to learn that a new Minnesota law requires that utilities offer their customers the option of purchasing "Green Power." Perhaps in these incessent prairie winds is at least a partial answer to America's energy challenges.
To learn more about wind power generation in Minnesota (or elsewhere) you may click the website below.