Great Pipestone Quarry

Charles A. Eastman's story, "The River People," is set at the Great Pipestone Quarry in southeastern Minnesota. These are some of the disoveries my husband and I made as we revisited this sacred place.
  1. Great Pipestone Quarry
    Winnewissa Falls
    While these waterfalls undoubtedly existed when Red Hunters and the Animals People was published in 1906, they have since been widened and flattened to create a more aesthetically pleasing image. A walkway across the bottom flow of the falls has also been added.
  2. Great Pipestone Quarry
    Great Pipestone Quarry Trail
    The U.S. National Park Service maintains a walking trail around the Great Pipestone Quarry. This image shows some of the layering of quartzite above the pipestone.
  3. Great Pipestone Quarry
    Pipestone Creek as it flows away from the waterfall
    It was nice being able to stand at the foot of the Winnewissa Falls to photograph their beauty, even as the water flows away.
  4. Great Pipestone Quary
    Know Your Rock
    Beauty is also found in the layering of the rock, which helps novices learn the differences between quartzite and pipestone.
  5. Great Pipestone Quarry
    The Oracle
    The National Park Service provides a narrow and steep stair case cut into the rock, so visitors can climb higher to get a better perspective of the Oracle Rock, but my hips and knees would not allow me that climb, so here is a face-on view.
  6. Great Pipestone Quarry
    Stone People
    Some myths claim that the red clay that forms the sacred pipestone comes from the "Red Nations People" who died during a cataclysmic event. One woman survived (here in stone), married a Star Nations man, and gave birth to the Eagle Nation.
  7. Great Pipestone Quarry
    Pipestone Creek
    This beautiful creek meanders away from the Winnewissa Falls toward the U.S. National Park Service's building.
  8. Great Pipestone Quarry
    Onward Toward the Plains
    Pipestone Creek leaving the National Park, heading toward the open plains.