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Downtown Pipestone
Downtown Pipestone
"Home of the Red Stone Pipe"
Location of the city of Pipestonewithin Pipestone County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Pipestone
within Pipestone County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Pipestone
 • Type Mayor – Council
 • Total 4.16 sq mi (10.77 km2)
 • Land 4.16 sq mi (10.77 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,736 ft (529 m)
 • Total 4,317
 • Estimate 
 • Density 973.30/sq mi (375.77/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-51388
GNIS feature ID 0649527
Website City of Pipestone

Pipestone is a city in Minnesota, United States, and the county seat of Pipestone County. The population was 4,317 at the 2010 census. The city is also the site of the Pipestone National Monument.


Pipestone was platted in 1876. Pipestone took its name from Pipestone County. The city was incorporated in 1901.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.18 square miles (10.83 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 222
1890 1,232 455.0%
1900 2,536 105.8%
1910 2,475 −2.4%
1920 3,325 34.3%
1930 3,489 4.9%
1940 4,682 34.2%
1950 5,269 12.5%
1960 5,324 1.0%
1970 5,328 0.1%
1980 4,887 −8.3%
1990 4,554 −6.8%
2000 4,280 −6.0%
2010 4,317 0.9%
2019 (est.) 4,046 −6.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2017, there were 4,034 people, 1,923 households, and 1,084 families living in the city. The population density was 1,032.8 inhabitants per square mile (398.8/km2). There were 2,134 housing units at an average density of 510.5 per square mile (197.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.2% White, 0.9% African American, 1.9% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 3.5% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.2% of the population.

There were 1,923 households, of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.6% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 40.8 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.1% were from 25 to 44; 25.1% were from 45 to 64; and 20.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.6% male and 53.4% female.

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

Calumet Hotel
The Calumet Inn

The Calumet Inn in downtown Pipestone is a restored historical building from 1888. It still operates as a functioning hotel. It features turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) antiques and interesting architecture. The building was constructed using quartzite both structurally and in the facade. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The county Courthouse, also made of local quartzite stone, was built in 1899. The building is the most stylized of the quartzite buildings. It is rectangular in shape with a 110-ft clock tower topped with a dome and a statue of Lady Justice. It was restored in 1995 and rededicated in 1996. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

American Indians have used the pipestone quarries located at the Pipestone National Monument for centuries to obtain materials for pipe making, a practice that continues today. 282 acres (1.14 km2) - visitor and cultural center, 3/4 mile walking trail along Pipestone Creek and Winnewissa Falls set in the tallgrass prairie. Pipestone Indian Shrine Association provides visitors with a selection of American Indian art and craft items. The pipestone quarry is described in Native American legends as a square-cut jewel lying upon folds of shimmering green velvet. This is an accurate depiction of the red quartzite almost hidden by prairie grass. It was designated a national monument by the United States in 1937.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Although he never visited the site, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired to write of the area in the poem, "Song of Hiawatha". The Song of Hiawatha Pageant, which spins out Longfellow's vision of the American Indian, played in Pipestone for 60 years. The pageant was held at a small quarry lake on a natural amphitheater with a cast of 200 principals, chieftains, warriors, and dancers in their colorful costumes. Summer of 2008 was the last year for the pageant.


In 2006, Suzlon Energy of India began building wind farm blades at its subsidiary Suzlon Rotor Corporation in the town. Among the companies buying the blades is Wind Capital Group which is developing the biggest wind farm in Minnesota. They have closed down.

Ellison meats was founded in 1934 and has been a part of the Pipestone community since the early 1980s and moved to its current facility in 1990. In 2007, Ellison's was acquired by the J&B Group of St Michael, MN. J&B, founded in 1979, is the producer of "No Name" and "Midwest Pride" brand name products.


Pipestone Area School District #2689 serves the community of Pipestone and surrounding area. Pipestone Area High School, a 197,000-square-foot (18,300 m2) middle and high school, opened in January 2003. Minnesota West Community & Technical College operates a campus in Pipestone.



U.S. Highway 75 and Minnesota State Highways 23 and 30 are three of the main routes in the city.

Notable people

  • Catrina Allen, professional disc golfer, two-time PDGA World Champion
  • Adelaide George Bennett (1848–1911), poet and botanist
  • Eddie Bentz, bank robber
  • Harold Rawdon Briggs, senior British Indian Army officer
  • Phil Bruns, actor and writer
  • Stanley Crooks, former chair, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  • Vern Ehlers, former United States Representative for Michigan, was born in Pipestone.
  • Roy Alexander Gano, former admiral in the United States Navy
  • Bill Hager, former member of the Florida House of Representatives
  • Charles Tisdale Howard, a United States attorney, district court judge, and speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives, lived in Pipestone from 1911 until his death in 1936.
  • Verne Long, former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • John Lutz, actor, comedian and screenwriter
  • Mike Menning, former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Loran B. Morgan, ophthalmologist and inventor of the Morgan Lens
  • Donald Petersen, former CEO of Ford Motor Company
  • Kathleen Sekhon, Minnesota state legislatot=r and educator
  • Hugh Smith, news anchor
  • Isaac Snell, football player
  • Harry E. Wheeler, geologist and stratigrapher

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