Brown Hospital, shortly before
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper
Pipestone's first hospital was located in this one and a half story
25 by 50-foot Sioux quartzite building. Constructed in 1912, the
Brown Hospital is the only historic property related to the community's
medical history. The building also has the distinction of being
the only example in the historic district of a Sioux quartzite building
that incorporates in its principle gable wooden overlays, clapboard,
and scalloped shingle siding. The windows are recessed in the arch
which overhangs the front porch. The roof still retains its original
pressed metal roofing.The main floor contained offices for two doctors,
a waiting room, dispensary and surgery room. The elevator to the
four-room hospital on the second floor was unique in that it was
large enough for a patient's bed.
Dr. Alex H. Brown practiced medicine here until he retired in 1945.
A few years later, the practice was taken over by his grandson, Dr.
Robert Keyes, who retired in 1993. In the early years, the basement
housed a shoe store run by Dr. Brown's cousin, followed by other small
businesses. Upon Dr. Keyes' retirement, the building and much of its
contents were given to the Pipestone County Historical Society. In
January 1997, Historic Pipestone, Inc., a non-profit group dedicated
to historic preservation, purchased the building. The group is in
the process of restoring the exterior to its 1912 appearance. The
interior remains much the same today except for the removal of the
Historic image of Brown Hospital,
Courtesy of Pipestone County Historical Society
Brown Hospital is located at 116 2nd Ave., SW, Pipestone and
is open by appointment. It is open the first Saturday of every month
for a used book sale, or call 507-825-3413 to schedule an appointment.