75th Anniversary Celebration

Dedication of Monument Visitor Center – July 1958
Dedication of Monument Visitor Center – July 1958 (L to R) Pipestone National Monument Superintendent Paul L. Webb, Bea Burns, U.S. Senator Edward Thye, National Park Service Director Conrad Wirth, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag, U. S. Representative H. Carl Anderson, Dr. Walter Benjamin, Unknown.

Pipestone National Monument

75th Anniversary Celebration


Pipestone National Monument was established by Congress in 1937 to protect the historic pipestone quarries. Based upon archeological evidence American Indians have been quarrying for almost 3000 years to obtain the soft red pipestone used in making their ceremonial pipes. The quarrying and pipe making are still being done today.

Over the last 75 years the monument has seen many administrative and construction changes, but the essence and practice of quarrying has not changed. With a total of 56 quarries, the annual quarry permit waiting list continues to grow, reflecting a 10+ year wait for one of the permits.

The above photo depicts a significant milestone in the history of the monument and that is the dedication of the new visitor center, finished in 1958 as part of the Mission 66 initiative, and expanded in 1973. For 54 years the building has served staff and visitors well, but after significant public review comments resulting from tribal consultation it was decided in the 2009 General Management Plan that it would to be removed from the interior of the monument, and a new visitor center to be located on the perimeter of the monument. The rest of the structures in the monument are also to be removed and the staff and services relocated into the community. Given the current state of the economy, and federal budgets, this may not happen very soon, and maintenance and updating of the buildings and other infrastructure continue.

The GMP process resulted in many other planned changes and we look forward to visiting with you about them. A copy of the plan can be seen on the monument's web site: https://www.nps.gov/pipe


In honor of the 75th birthday celebration, Meinders Community Library and the Pipestone County Museum will be hosting events throughout the month of August. The Pipestone County Museum is planning to have an exhibit on the Monument & its history in regards to the community. The Community Library will be having book displays and books to check out covering Pipestone National Monument, the quarries, American Indian history and Pipestone County area history.


As part of Pipestone National Monument's 75th anniversary celebration a special invitation is extended to all past employees, alumni, volunteers, partners, and their families to join us on Saturday August 25th 2012 to celebrate the park's birthday, have fun, tell stories, and visit old friends. Please complete the card at this link and return it to inform us of your plans to attend or just to let us know of your current situation.

There will be guided tours and special presentations throughout the day as well as a celebration ceremony in front of the visitor center Saturday afternoon at 1PM (Schedule of events pending, check back again for details).


In cooperation with the Pipestone community the monument is working with the Pipestone County Museum to gather old photographs or taped or written memories of the quarries, Pipestone National Monument, and Pipestone community. These items will be used for displays or other public viewing events for the benefit of the 75th celebration and other future monument or museum events.

Please contact the Pipestone County Museum for details on loaning or donating your photographs and memories at:

Pipestone County Museum

Attn: Susan Hoskins

113 South Hiawatha Avenue

Pipestone, MN 56164


We look forward to celebrating this wonderful milestone with the community of Pipestone and all those who can attend.

Please call 507-825-5464 ext. 214 for celebration updates, or for other community and monument information.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

36 Reservation Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164


(507) 825-5464 x214

Contact Us