Pipestone National Monument
Aug 18, 2011
After leaving Worthington Minnesota, this morning, where we spent another night in a Walmart parking lot, we travelled to Pipestone, and visited the Pipestone National Historic Monument. This tourist site was highlighted by the American Automobile Association as a "Gem" of a place to visit. We arrived shortly before lunch and spend much of the afternoon there. A twenty minute video gave visitors an excellent overview of the cultural significance of this site. Prior to the arrival of the European settlers, Native Americans quarried a particular red stone. Once the pipestone, as it is now called, was removed from deep trenches, Native carvers would create pipes that were used for sacred ceremonial occasions. To this day only Native Americans are permitted to harvest this valued pipe stone. Following the video, we took a walk around the grounds along a marked trial to see the mounds and quarries where this important stone is harvested. A native American carver was carving and explaining his craft to visitors.This entire area is sacred to Native Americans. We visited the Pipestone Museum in the town. The architecture of the town was interesting as many buildings were built in 1899-1910 with the pinkish-purple Sioux quartzite. We then travelled to Sioux Falls South Dakota where we stayed at Walmart again. It was very hot.