- Joe Taylor quarried at the pipestone quarries long before it ever became a national monument. He camped at the site during the summers, engaging with visitors who passed through on the trains.
Joe Taylor was born in 1860 at Prior Lake, MN, on the Wabasha Prairie—six miles south of Shakopee, MN. When Joe was a baby, his parents were forced to travel to Mendota, MN, with a number of other Mdewakanton Sioux families who were facing troubled times in the vicinity of their homes. The United States government had forced them to leave their land and relocate to Crow Creek Reservation in Dakota Territory. After a few years, the family relocated again to an area near Egan, SD, and Joe attended school in Flandreau, SD. It was likely during these teenage years that Joe first visited the Pipestone quarries.
Joseph introduced his brother-in-law, Moses Crow, to quarrying and carving, and Moses then helped mentor the next generation. Joseph was almost solely responsible for keeping the quarrying tradition alive in the early years of the 1900's. He often sold his work to local residents as well as visitors coming through Pipestone on the train. Between the years 1904 and 1930, he had a tent camp at the quarries during the summer months where he sold an assortment of items made from pipestone and educated visitors. His quarry was located south of the “Union Quarry.”
Last updated: October 29, 2019