First organized in 1880 with a mission to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge about Pipestone County’s history, Pipestone County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation located in the heart of historic downtown Pipestone.
The Pipestone County Historical Society was founded in 1880, less than one year after the organization of Pipestone County, and only six years after the first permanent euro-American settlers came to this area. Although one of the younger counties in Minnesota, ours is the second oldest County Historical Society. The society immediately began to collect and preserve the material heritage of the region, as is the purpose stated in the By-Laws.
Collections were housed at the Pipestone County Courthouse until 1967, when the City of Pipestone deeded the Old City Hall Building to the Society. Since that time this building has served as the Pipestone County Museum. In the first few years, the Museum was open only by appointment, and operated with a volunteer staff. The first full-time executive director was hired in 1979.
Since that time operations and funding sources have stabilized and steadily increased. The museum staff serves area schools and other groups with tours, in-house programs, and outreach programs. The Museum is maintained with rotating historical exhibits and the building also houses the Society’s research/genealogy library.