"THIS NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OUTPOST": 1938-1956
After its establishment, Pipestone National Monument faced the typical problems of a new park area. There were few permanent structures within the boundaries of the monument and almost no amenities for visitors. The only improvements that existed were small picnic tables and a shelter built by the Indian Civilian Conservation Corps earlier in the 1930s. The bill establishing the monument did not appropriate funds for its administration, and there were no provisions for permanent or temporary staff. As in the case of many other national monuments established more than twenty years before, a volunteer custodian needed to be found. At the inception, Pipestone lacked the most basic features of Park Service management.
In 1937, Pipestone's condition was unusual. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal transformed the park system. Its programs created the greatest windfall in the history of the National Park Service, supporting the development of more than one hundred park areas. Through the reorganization of the federal bureaucracy, the agency added more than seventy park areas to the system, many of which presented important aspects of American history. Battlefields, historic sites, and other properties became part of the system, and proponents for such areas pressured NPS officials for development. By the late 1930s, park areas across the nation sported new museums, administrative facilities, housing, roads and trails, utilities systems, and interpretation exhibits.
But Pipestone entered the system too late for much of the largess of the New Deal and without an established plan for implementing development. National parks still topped the list of development priorities, and the older archeological national monuments that lacked facilities until the New Deal had vocal proponents within the agency. The Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields that were added to the system pulled on heartstrings of Americans; their obvious meaning to the public made them strong candidates for development.  Pipestone shared none of these attributes. Combined with its remote location and the unusual resources the monument contained, development became a slow and frustrating process until the advent of MISSION 66 in the 1950s.
At Pipestone in 1937, the agency faced a dilemma. The growth of the park system and its development gave Congress and the public a clear set of expectations. By 1937, travelers anticipated a certain level of service when they visited a national park area. Most popular parks had visitor centers, concessions, roads and marked trails, and interpretive personnel and material. For two decades after its establishment, Pipestone could not meet the expectations embodied in such development.
Initially, NPS officials were not quite sure what to do with Pipestone National Monument. Pipestone's unique situation made successful administration a difficult proposition. There were many ways to approach its development. Some in the agency regarded Pipestone as a primitive park. Others sought to implement a characteristic NPS-style plan, emphasizing the historic and geological themes of the monument. But under the circumstances, initial optimism dissipated, and improvement of facilities became an arduous task.
The conditions NPS officials found when they visited Pipestone were discouraging. In the summer of 1938, nearly a year after the establishment of the monument, the quarries were filled with water and had become swimming holes. A "rather dilapidated looking" trailer stood atop the quartzite ledge, leaving an unfavorable impression on NPS Regional Geologist Carroll H. Wegemann. Local people complained that the established of the monument encouraged an influx of Native Americans who hoped to sell pipestone souvenirs.  The beginnings of a tense situation existed at the monument.
One of the first steps taken at Pipestone was finding a volunteer custodian. Volunteers had been the mainstays of the national monuments since the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906. During the 1920s, some southwestern monuments received trained NPS replacements, but elsewhere in the nation, volunteers remained the standard at national monuments until the New Deal. In many cases, respectable citizens from the vicinity, people with a specific interest in a park area, or nearby federal officials from other agencies volunteered their services. At Pipestone, the superintendent of the adjacent Pipestone Indian School, J. W. Balmer, one of the founders of the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association, accepted the responsibility. He and the Park Service had much to do. 
Balmer inherited the complex set of custom, rules, and regulations that governed the quarries at Pipestone. The act establishing the monument extended to all Indians the right to quarry at Pipestone, something the Yankton Sioux relinquished in the settlement of the court case in 1928. In the nine-year interim between the end of the case and the establishment of the monument, quarrying continued, but without legal sanction. As superintendent of the Indian School, Balmer exercised nominal supervision over the quarry, but any quarrying that occurred fell within his discretionary power. Officials of the Office of Indian Affairs explained that between 1928 and 1937, they had not restricted Indian quarrying, a policy that the act compelled the Park Service to follow.  The enabling legislation strengthened existing custom. The establishment of the monument created a permanent legal relationship between Native Americans and the Park Service.
The protection of the rights of Native Americans in the proclamation assured that administration of the monument would be complicated. There were a number of constituencies vying for control of the monument and particularly of the money its visitors would spend. The Pipestone community correctly recognized that it stood to benefit from the presence of a national park area, but only if the monument provided visitors with an experience similar to that at other national park areas. Native Americans from the Indian School and across the northern plains recognized that their heritage was the story behind the pipestone quarries and their participation was essential to the success of the park. The two groups often found their objectives antithetical.
The slow development of facilities at the monument exacerbated existing tensions. Between 1937 and 1946, Pipestone functioned as a classic remote national monument. Balmer took time from his duties at the Indian School to watch over the monument, but he clearly recognized that without a budget for even the most basic maintenance, he fought a losing battle.  Administered by the volunteer custodian, Pipestone languished on the periphery of the park system.
But unlike so many earlier national monuments, Pipestone began to be developed within a very few years. During the New Deal, funding for park development was easy to attain, and although Pipestone did not receive a CCC camp as did many other park areas, access to NPS funds came far more quickly than it had for earlier national monuments. The monument received its first appropriation of $1,300 for fiscal year 1940. The first seasonal custodian, Albert F. Drysdale of Winona, Minnesota, was appointed late in 1939 and began work January 2, 1940.  A rudimentary administrative structure began to take shape.
Local support for the monument remained strong. The appointment of the seasonal custodian was perceived as an important step forward, and Drysdale's arrival was greeted with banner headlines in the local newspaper, the Pipestone County Star. Drysdale collected visitation figures during the summer of 1941 as a means to gauge his public. Nearly 1,500 out-of-state visitors signed the register, an indication that the monument had considerable appeal despite its lack of amenities.  To many in the community, it appeared that Pipestone was beginning to develop.
By 1940, the NPS planning process had also begun. Edward A. Hummel, who had been involved with Pipestone since 1935 and had since become the Region II regional supervisor of historic sites, completed a preliminary historical development report, the first NPS planning document for the monument. Hummel suggested that planned development should include a museum and administration building, a custodian's residence, a utility building, roads, trails, and parking, signs and markers, provisions for the sale of pipestone materials and artifacts, and a research program to support interpretation. In 1940, a two-fold interpretive leaflet for Pipestone was designed and 10,000 copies were printed, offering the beginning of an interpretation program. 
Hummel's ambitious program reflected the experience of the New Deal. Federal money enhanced the agency's visitor service mission throughout the 1930s, and as a result, new planning had to include substantial visitor service to fit the standards of the agency. Without provisions for visitor service, development was unlikely. Implementing Hummel's program would bring the facilities at Pipestone up to the level of the rest of the park system. At the beginning of the 1940s, it almost seemed a realistic option.
But the attack on Pearl Harbor and American entry into World War II slowed the development of the national park system. The American economy rapidly retooled for wartime production, and spiritual and recreational needs ceased to be concerns of decision-makers. The Park Service was moved temporarily from its headquarters in the Interior Department in Washington, D.C., to Chicago to make room for more important war-related agencies. Many Park Service people, from the Washington office to the ranger corps, entered the military. Almost all park development projects were delayed or eliminated. Restrictions on travel, gasoline and tire rationing, and concerns about the war curtailed visitation as Americans concentrated on the difficult task they faced. 
Pipestone mirrored the national pattern. Any chance of rapid development disappeared with the mobilization that began after Pearl Harbor. Drysdale continued to serve in a seasonal capacity, but other than basic maintenance, there was little that he could do. Visitation to the monument diminished, although many people from the nearby Army Air Corps base in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, came to tour Pipestone. Local people continued to make use of the monument, and picnics and holiday outings became the most common forms of use. 
The end of the Second World War brought an overwhelming sense of relief and exuberant celebration to the nation. In the aftermath of the Japanese surrender, Americans danced in the streets and made plans for the future. During the war, there had been shortages of all kinds of goods, while many people were able to save thousands of dollars. The result was a pent-up demand for consumer goods and travel and recreation, as millions of Americans set off in an aggressive frenzy to see their country and acquire the cars, clothes, appliances, and homes that the war denied them. 
The park system experienced an almost immediate impact. The national parks attracted visitors like never before, as more and more Americans accepted the natural and cultural heritage contained within them as an important part of their cultural patrimony. The construction of the interstate highway system and the popularization of highways such as Route 66 encouraged travel. At a time when Americans could travel from coast to coast by car, popular culture elevated the experience to the status of myth. Visitation across the national park system soared, reaching numbers that exceeded the wildest dreams of even the most use-oriented NPS managers. Visits to the national park system rose from 12 million each year immediately before World War II to around 35 million in 1950 and continued to increase. In 1956, the system received more than 54 million visits. In the decade following the war, appropriations remained nearly constant. 
Changes in patterns of travel made handling the growth even more difficult. By the 1950s, the automobile had replaced the train as the primary mode of transportation of visitors to national parks. The individualized nature of automobile travel changed visitation and exponentially increased the impact of visitation. More than 98 percent of visitors arrived in private automobiles, leading to the use of larger percentages of national park areas, traffic congestion, parking problems, and traffic congestion, and in some places, air pollution. 
The increase in visitation revealed deep system-wide structural problems for the NPS. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, the park system experienced tremendous annual growth in visitation without concomitant increases in appropriations for capital development, maintenance, visitor service, or administration. Across the country, park staffs and facilities were overwhelmed by an influx of visitors with money to spend and the desire to experience their natural and cultural heritage. The quality of facilities and visitor experience declined rapidly throughout the era. Conditions became so bad that noted author and historian Bernard DeVoto called for the closing of the national parks if they could not be adequately maintained. 
Pipestone experienced many of the typical problems of the era. Without Park Service-caliber facilities or any of the characteristic agency accouterments, the monument was unprepared for the onslaught of visitation. Pent-up demand for travel and recreation caused immediate changes at Pipestone. The increase in visitation was almost instantaneous. War workers returning home increased visitation at Pipestone in the summer and fall of 1945. The influx continued during the 1946 travel season, when more than 5,000 visitors came to Pipestone between May and September. By the end of 1948, months with more than 2,000 visitors, more than the number that came during an entire travel season before the war, became common during the summers. 
But the condition of the monument remained a local embarrassment. Despite all the efforts at planning and development, the monument remained essentially the same in 1946 as it had been in 1937. Despite Drysdale's presence six months of the year, the monument continued to deteriorate. Upkeep of the grounds was intermittent, there was little to entice or educate visitors, and as the situation failed to improve, local business people began to discourage visitors from going to the quarries. Some complained to U.S. Rep. H. Carl Andersen that the custodian was derelict in his duties, and the monument should be turned over to local people to assure better management. Andersen asked NPS Director Newton B. Drury to allow the Pipestone Civic and Commerce Association to receive federal money to administer the park. 
NPS officials rushed to the defense of their custodian and the limited care they could offer the monument. The situation at the monument was clearly substandard, and NPS officials reminded Andersen that Drysdale was at the monument six months of the year and because of government regulations, only five days each week, eight hours each day, during that time. Regional office officials determined that Drysdale put in a significant amount of time each week in excess of the required forty hours, but that the responsibilities at Pipestone were too great for one part-time person. Increased vandalism during the off-season posed another problem for the custodian. When Drysdale arrived at the monument in the spring of 1947, he found the buildings damaged, the partitions in the latrines torn out, and garbage dumped in a number of places. The fence along the Indian School boundary also required repair. The monument lacked an appropriation for repair and maintenance, and Drysdale did what he could. Pipestone needed full-time care. 
The NPS sent a team to work with the Pipestone community. In a meeting with Mayor Fred Walz and a number of other civic leaders, Chief Historian Herbert Kahler, Regional Historian Olaf T. Hagen, and Drysdale explained the problems of the NPS. The climate had changed since the New Deal, when NPS officials could routinely summon the resources of federal programs to transform park areas. In the late 1940s, a master plan and a project construction program were in the planning stage for Pipestone National Monument, but had not yet come to fruition. Community representatives were eager to see progress, and NPS officials offered a preview. The plan included a full-time custodian in Park Service uniform, a seasonal employee, better training for park staff, provisions for tools and materials for the park, entrance, informational, and directional signs, a trailside exhibit, and greater cooperation with the local community. The Park Service officials stressed that the plan would take time to implement. [19 ]
The Washington office of the Park Service, which again became agency headquarters after World War II, also worked to include Andersen among its supporters in Congress. In the late 1940s, Pipestone was the only national park area in Minnesota, and much of its predicament could easily be attributed to a lack of resources. In a series of meetings with high-ranking NPS officials, Andersen received a clearer picture of the problems at Pipestone. Park Service officials sought to place a full-time resident custodian at the monument, and Andersen became a leading proponent of the idea. At a meeting of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, he called the condition of the monument a disgrace to the community and the entire park system. Andersen came out strongly for a permanent staff position for the monument. 
A slow and steady move to professional NPS management began at Pipestone in no small part as a response to Andersen and the concerns of the Pipestone community. The monument acquired its first piece of permanent equipment, a used pickup truck, in the summer of 1947. The first full-time year-round custodian, Lyle K. Linch, arrived early in 1948. Later that year Linch was appointed "superintendent," a reflection of the pejorative connotation attached to the title of custodian as well as the increased emphasis on equal status for personnel at all categories of park areas. 
Linch had a decade of experience with the Park Service before he came to Pipestone in 1948. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in biology in 1936, entering the Park Service in 1938 as a custodial officer at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. He became a park ranger at Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi in 1939, and continued at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Badlands and Jewel Cave national monuments in South Dakota before coming to Pipestone.  Lean and angular, Linch knew the Park Service way before he came to the monument.
Linch initiated new programs from the day he arrived at Pipestone. The first involved much needed maintenance, cutting weeds, clearing trails, and generally cleaning up the monument. Linch organized cooperative programs with local and state authorities to assist in road and trail maintenance. He developed interpretation programs, followed in 1949 by research activities with Regional Archeologist Paul Beaubien and University of Minnesota archeologist Gordon Baldwin. These efforts provided the basis for interpretation at the monument as well as much of its collection of artifacts. In addition, Linch hired George Bryan, a full-blooded Ojibway who quarried the monument, as the first seasonal interpretive ranger. In 1950, he, Winifred Bartlett, and others developed nature trails.  In two short years, a trained Park Service professional made a substantial difference in the condition of the monument.
Linch also supported larger-scale activities to increase the exposure of the monument. With his concurrence and urging, the local Exchange Club, a chapter of the national organization, produced its first "Hiawatha Pageant" in 1949. In it, costumed members of the community acted out Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha. The Exchange Club format did not fit local needs and the Pipestone club dissolved. The pageant grew in attendance and importance, and an entity called the Hiawatha Club was formed to administer it. The pageant became a regional attraction and a fixture at the monument. 
Despite his myriad accomplishments, Linch became a controversial figure within the agency. Remembered as a "character," he had a flair for the dramatic and at times exceeded the bounds of acceptable decorum for agency personnel. While he aggressively promoted the monument and its features, his projects sometimes lacked objectivity and substantiation. Regional officials spent consideral energy keeping abreast of Linch's activities and reining him in. Some suspected him of unauthorized quarrying, a violation of the most cardinal agency rule, but such allegations were difficult to prove. In more public venues, Linch's claims that he discovered Egyptian hieroglyphics at Pipestone and his formation of an Ankh society were of particular annoyance. Regional office supervisors strongly recommended that Linch adhere to the information of respectable scientists and refrain from the "commercialized" and "gaudy" kind of presentation that characterized private sites. The boundary between successful promotion of an area and unacceptable showmanship was clearly defined, although Linch's often idiosyncratic presentations continued intermittently. 
Despite the many positive strides in interpretation and maintenance that Linch made, the facilities at Pipestone lagged behind the rest of the park system. In 1948, no winter quarters for the superintendent and his family existed. Linch's family spent this first winter at the monument in Iowa, while he opened a winter office in the Calumet Hotel in downtown Pipestone. The separation was a hardship on the superintendent and his family, precisely the kind of situation the Park Service sought to avoid as it professionalized management at smaller park areas. 
Early in the 1950s, the NPS still had not established control over access to the monument. A horseshoe-shaped loop road allowed people to use the monument as a thoroughfare, and without a visitor center, the Park Service lacked an adequate way to orient travelers. In 1951, the loop road was closed permanently, but the question of visitor orientation remained beyond the scope of existing Park Service resources. Without a visitor center located between the parking areas and the quarries, the Park Service had little opportunity to control access to the monument and prepare visitors for their experience.
In addition, the monument did not yet include all the features of importance in the vicinity. The initial law establishing Pipestone placed the Three Maidens, the three large rocks near the southern boundary, within the boundaries of the monument, but the land remained in private hands. Both the Staso Milling Company and the City of Pipestone owned part of the area, and acquisition measures to acquire the area would be necessary.  While development of the monument was not predicated on its growth, including adjacent features of cultural significance enhanced the monument and made it seem complete.
Beginning in the 1930s, NPS officials sought to acquire the Three Maidens. City leaders recognized the need for the transfer, and in a February 26, 1940, meeting, the city council voted to deed its portion of the area, about .17 acres, to the NPS. Although the Park Service would have preferred to acquire the portion owned by the Staso Milling Company as well, it proceeded. Yet more than four years later, the city had yet to finish the transaction. The Park Service still had not received title to the parcel. In addition, the title held by the Staso Milling Company seemed to the County Recorder of Deeds to be "cloudy." Throughout the 1940s, legal wrangling over the title to the two tracts continued, until in 1949, the city council again passed legislation conveying the property to the NPS. Again the City of Pipestone prepared to donate the entire tract to the Park Service. The Park Service needed to fund a survey of the boundaries to acquire the land. 
But the transfer was stymied. Robert S. Owens, the recorder of deeds who also owned an adjacent forty-acre tract, personally acquired the piece of land that had belonged to Staso Milling. A friend of the monument and one of the founders of the Hiawatha Pageant, he had only two stipulations. He requested that the pageant be allowed to use the area south of the Three Maidens as a stage for its production and that the Park Service refrain from erecting a boundary fence along the south side of the monument.
Although Lyle Linch thought the idea a good one, Acting Regional Director Howard Baker disagreed. Rather than include Owens' stipulations in the transfer, Baker sought to acquire the land and then discuss a special use permit for the pageant. Owens and the city council found Baker's counteroffer acceptable, and the agreement proceeded. Fee simple title to the land was transferred to the Park Service, and the Hiawatha Pageant received a special use permit renewable annually for twenty years. The Three Maidens were officially part of the monument, although a small nearby tract was not. The members of the Hiawatha Club retained a strong proprietary feeling for the features that continued to affect management and policy. 
Developments outside the park system provided impetus for further expansion of the monument. During the 1930s, the New Deal changed the relationship between the federal government and Native Americans. Under the administration of Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier, a long-time critic of federal Indian policy whom Franklin D. Roosevelt placed in charge of Indian issues, Native Americans had been offered much greater control over their affairs. The prohibitions against speaking native languages or teaching traditional cultures were lifted as Indians passed from child-like status to near autonomy. One set of programs, the Indian Reorganization Act, colloquially referred to as the Indian New Deal, sought to develop an economic backbone for native peoples. 
By the late 1940s, the direction of federal policy towards Native Americans had again changed. Many of Collier's well-intended reforms had disastrous results, and in the postwar climate, his liberal policies seemed anachronistic. Under the leadership of Dillon S. Myer, the man who administered the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II, the federal government sought to end its financial and administrative involvement with native peoples. The idea of terminationthe elimination of reservations, allotment of lands, and integration of Indians into mainstream Americahad become the prevailing current in federal Indian policy. 
To many at mid-century, termination was an attractive policy because it curtailed services provided to Native Americans. The federal government had invested enough in the reservation system, this line of reasoning contended, and Indians had reached the point that they could care for their own needs. Some tribes were terminatedremoved from federal roles as authorized groups that could receive collective benefits. Many of the special programs offered Native Americans as a result of their treaties with the U.S. government also ceased. Elimination of some of the many Indian boarding schools that dotted the West followed.  Pipestone Indian School was among those targeted for closure.
Efforts to close the school had begun in 1948 but were stalled by a powerful local outcry. In the fall of 1948, a parade of educators and state officials visited the Indian school, assessing their need for the property and its structures. Lyle Linch wanted to make sure that the closing helped the Park Service. His prime concern at the time was finding permanent housing for his family, and he suggested that the Park Service acquire a building from the Indian School. Land acquisition was more important to NPS goals. Linch also discussed adding some of the school lands to the park with Winifred Bartlett, who thought it an excellent idea. 
The Pipestone Indian School had been founded in no small part because of the community and had become an integral part of the local economy. Local townspeople perceived its loss as a severe blow, and led by Rev. J. G. Steinmeyer, they lobbied to keep the school open. To the surprise and consternation of Linch, who expected to get one of the residences at the Indian School for his family, the lobbying effort was successful and the school not only remained open, but expanded its operations. 
From Linch's point of view, one major positive feature resulted from the decision to keep the Indian School open. The situation brought his housing plight to the attention of regional office officials, and when Linch had to leave his temporary quarters at the school and send his family to Iowa for the winter, plans for construction of a Park Service residence quickly took shape. In September 1949, the regional office offered a revised construction program that included a new residence at Pipestone. In 1950, the first permanent staff quarters at Pipestone were completed. In typical NPS fashion at the time, the building included a room in which to store official records. 
The potential for land acquisition continued to interest NPS officials. In the initial master plan for Pipestone, provisions to add Indian school lands were included. When the first talk of the school closing began, NPS officials assessed the chances of acquisition. Arthur E. Demaray, associate director of the agency and a person with vast experience in acquiring new park land, contacted the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But until February 1951, when Regional Director Baker determined that the closing of the Indian school appeared "probable," little action occurred. Baker's regional office filed a recommendation for a boundary adjustment that provided the agency with the ammunition it needed to proceed. The pace accelerated rapidly, although the Park Service did not take over administration of the land until early in 1956. 
NPS officials worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reach an agreement. Chief Historian Herbert Kahler led a team that met with BIA officials and found them receptive to the idea of a transfer. Commissioner of Indian Affairs Myer was "quite happy to collaborate" with the NPS; getting rid of Indian land was in line with his objectives. In August 1951, plans for terminating the school were approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Secretary of the Interior Julius A. Krug sent a draft bill to Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn allowing the transfer of the land. Although Rep. Andersen commended Congress for keeping the school open in 1953, the following year the school finally closed. The Park Service and other federal agencies claimed the buildings and equipment, and the Pipestone Indian School ceased to exist. 
Park Service officials built solid justification for their acquisition. An archeological study of the monument in 1949 laid the basis for acquiring additional land. Archeologist Paul Beaubien's report showed that most of the area quarried in the historic period remained outside existing park boundaries. He concluded that the monument boundaries were "an arbitrary minimum area," and recommended the addition of portions of the Indian School area when the school ceased to exist. After the bill to transfer the land went to Congress, more than 160 acres of the school were placed under the administration of the park as a prelude to the eventual transfer. 
Legislative efforts to permanently transfer land at Pipestone began in 1953. Supportive locals and a well-positioned congressional delegation from Minnesota helped the cause. In 1956, the original 115 acres of the monument were augmented by 164 acres from the former Indian School. The remainder of the reserved area was given to the State of Minnesota for a wildlife refuge.  The 115-acre park had become 279 acres, and with the wildlife reserve, more than 400 acres of the 640 that had been designated as a reserved area in 1858 had become public land.
The Three Maidens area remained an issue. Although the legal transfer had been completed in 1951, the people who produced the Hiawatha Pageant still regarded the Three Maidens as their property. Part of Robert S. Owens' land to the south of the Three Maidens had passed to the pageant, and since the boulders were the staging area for the performances, their assumption of ownership seemed grounded in logic. Nor were there boundary markers to formally establish the line. In an effort to win continued local support and strengthen an institution that had the potential to help the monument, Park Service officials conceded their stewardship. Local custom gave the pageant de acto ownership of the tract, and the Park Service rarely contested the situation. It had little to gain and much good will to lose. Regional office officials did assist the Hiawatha Club with planning issues, transferring much of the old picnic equipment built by the Indian CCC. Just before the final transfer of the Indian School land to the Park Service in January 1957, the Hiawatha Club ceded its last portion of land, the area to the west of the Three Maidens. Although the Park Service owned the area, local feeling of ownership continued.
After six years at Pipestone, Lyle Linch was ready to move on to new challenges. As early as 1951, he began to request transfers to other parks. Despite the problems with unauthorized activity and standards of interpretation, Linch had been the right person at the right time for Pipestone. His enthusiasm, although sometimes misplaced, had contributed to the rapid development of the monument. By 1954, when Linch was transferred to Chalmette National Historical Park outside New Orleans, Pipestone had begun to take on the characteristics of the rest of the park system. Although substantial capital development was still necessary, the monument could offer many of the services available at better-known, better-funded parks.
Harvey B. Reynolds, Linch's successor, continued the pattern of aggressive development that had come to characterize Pipestone. Arriving in July 1954, he began to assess the needs of the monument. While local support remained strong, Reynolds recognized two important gaps. The Hiawatha Club had its own objectives, and the park lacked a comparable, organized entity. In addition, the Native Americans of the area, so crucial to the interpretive mission of the monument, had continuous economic difficulties. In November 1954, Reynolds, Winifred Bartlett, and Dr. Walter G. Benjamin began an effort to address both issues. They decided to consider a revival of the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association, which had become dormant after the establishment of the monument. Within a year, the group had been reorganized and accepted as a cooperating association of the Park Service. 
The Pipestone Indian Shrine Association defined a broader mission than most cooperative associations. Such groups usually provided economic support through sales of park-related books and postcards and assisted in park programs such as interpretation. Although the association developed a new trail guide as its first project, the situation at Pipestone offered a chance to tackle more substantive issues. Faced with growing visitation and the sad specter of Native Americans shamelessly selling pipes and artifacts made from pipestone for small sums everywhere from the train station to the boundaries of the park, the organization sought to develop a structure to help area Native Americans market their crafts. Its members established a small gift shop within the contact station that included Indian crafts among its postcards, books, and souvenirs. 
The reinvigoration of the Shrine Association typified the changes occurring at the monument. Linch initiated many programs, and Reynolds continued to develop them. Reynolds set up a temporary museum exhibit in the old picnic shelter. Following the necessary and long-standing pattern of outside support dictated by a lack of resources, the St. Paul Science Museum developed its exhibits. By the end of 1955, the temporary exhibit was ready for the public. 
The temporary museum reflected the condition of the park at the end of 1955. Since its establishment, a great deal had been accomplished without significant agency expenditures. Local support for the park remained strong, rudimentary facilities and interpretation supported visitor services, and energetic and enthusiastic park personnel greeted new arrivals.
But the realities of park management changed in the decade following World War II. Annual visitation at Pipestone grew from 5,000 in 1945 to more than 52,000 in 1955, mirroring a similar trend throughout the park system. Despite the developments, Pipestone lacked the facilities to support such a level of visitation. Many of the measures enacted at the park had been stopgap in character. Comprehensive and permanent development required the allocation of resources from the highest levels of the agency.
Last Updated: 21-Aug-2004