Administrative History
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1858—Yankton Sioux cede their lands in Minnesota, with the exception of the right to quarry on a 640-acre tract surrounding the pipestone quarries.

1880s—U. S. Army forces out illegal white settlers on the reserved area.

1890—First mention of the Pipestone area for national park status.

1890s—Yankton seek compensation for unauthorized use of the quarry area. U. S. government seeks to buy out the Indians. The case continues for more than thirty years.

1892—Pipestone Indian School founded.

1910s—First efforts for a park develop.

1924—State park proclaimed, but because of the court case over Yankton rights, no land for it is secured.

1928—U. S. Supreme Court rules on Yankton claim; awards the tribe $100,000 and interest from 1890, more than an additional $200,000, for the 640-acre area. Indian legal claim extinguished.

1932—Pipestone National Park Association founded; Winifred Bartlett is instrumental in the process.

1933—Department of the Interior official E. K. Burlew visits Pipestone to assess its merits as a park area. He decides that it had greater regional than national significance and does not merit inclusion in the park system.

1935—First National Park Service study of the area by Edward A. Hummel.

1937—115 acres of the former reserved area proclaimed as Pipestone National Monument proclaimed. NPS officials recognize natural as well as cultural potential of the new area. Superintendent of the Pipestone Indian School, J. W. Balmer, is enlisted as volunteer custodian.

1940—Seasonal custodian Albert F. Drysdale begins work at Pipestone.

1941—First plans to change the entrance road are conceived.

1941-1945—World War II puts growth and development aside.

1946—Initial NPS improvements compelled by local complaints about conditions at the monument.

1946—First regulations to govern quarrying established.

1948—First permanent, full-time employee, Lyle K. Linch, arrives. Within months, his title is upgraded from custodian to superintendent.

1948—George "Standing Eagle" Bryan serves as first American Indian seasonal interpreter at Pipestone.

1949—First Song of Hiawatha pageant begun by local Exchange Club. The pageant became a tradition. Later the club changed its name to the Hiawatha Club.

1953—Pipestone Indian School closes. Attempts to close it began in 1948, but local opposition delayed its demise. Closure paves the way for transfer of additional land to the monument.

1954—Pipestone National Park Association reconstituted as Pipestone Indian Shrine Association. Winifred Bartlett remains a leading influence.

1956—164 acres of the formerly reserved area are formally transferred to the monument. The transfer of the Three Maidens area on the south boundary of the monument closely followed, bringing the total area of the park to 282 acres.

1957—Second permanent staff member arrives.

1958—MISSION 66 program for Pipestone implemented; new Visitor Center constructed and dedicated.

1966—National Historic Preservation Act passed.

1968—Cecil D. Lewis, Jr., becomes first American Indian to serve as superintendent at Pipestone.

1968—Raymond L. "Chuck" Derby becomes first full-time American Indian employee at Pipestone.

1970—American Indian Movement protesters disrupt Hiawatha pageant.

1971—Upper Midwest American Indian Cultural Crafts Center completed.

1973—experimental controlled burning program begins at Pipestone. The program was developed as a result of the knowledge gained from an accidental fire in 1971.

1975—Pipestone faces preservation-use dichotomy in cultural resources management. Officials can not allow quarrying to continue and be in compliance with Section 106 of the amended National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Nor they can stop quarrying, for it would place the monument in violation of treaties, proclamations, and the organic legislation of the park. A resources management strategy is developed as part of the solution.

1978—American Indian Religious Freedom Act becomes law.

1981—First comprehensive resources management plan for the monument developed.

1982—Fish kill in Pipestone Creek illustrates pollution problems at the monument.

1988—First Spiritual Run/Walk to protest inappropriate uses of Pipestone begins. A rift in the Native American community develops, with the Park Service in an uncomfortable position. The run/walk continued through 1991.

1991—Sundance ceremony occurs at Pipestone; close cooperation between organizers and park personnel make for a successful event.

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Last Updated: 21-Aug-2004