American Indians began coming to the pipestone quarries over 3,000 years ago. French fur traders began writing about the quarries in the 1600s. George Catlin made the quarries famous to Euro-Americans in the 1830s. The U.S. Government made the quarries a reservation in the 1850s. FDR signed legislation making the quarries a national monument in 1937. American Indians continue quarrying and carving pipestone today, making it one of the only national park sites preserving a living tradition. It might be made of stone, but the story of the pipestone quarries is always a story about people.
Learn more below about Pipestone's historical figures as well as the quarriers of yesterday and today.
Last updated: November 17, 2019