Hodgson Pipe. Pipestone Peace Pipe. Material: stone. Size: 15" L. Description: reddish brown pipestone - long stem and mouthpiece.
Hodgson Collection. Prior to accessioning, the number 24 was printed in black ink on the side of the bowl. Note from Hodgson's Smoke Rings book: "About 1935, Dr. C.W. Doxtator and I were in the southwestern part of the state harvesting corn plots. On the way home we came through Pipestone, visited the Indian school, and the historic quarries where for hundreds of years the red men have obtained the stone most favored for their pipes. We found an Indian family living over a blacksmith shop and had a most interesting visit with an old man. He said the quarries actually belonged to the Ogallah Sioux, but that according to treaties, any Indian could get pipestone at the specified dates each spring and fall. As I remember the story he told it something like this - "The pipestone is a vein about two feet wide and from six inches to two feet thick. It is overlaid with granit and we have to dig deeper each year. In the old days it came to the surface, but now we have to work down through 18 feet of hard rock to get it. We can't use dynamite because it will shatter the soft stone, so we have to chisel it away with hammers. It is hard work. When the Indians all come in the fall, they work together pretty well until they get to the pipestone. Then some buck grabs a piece and tries to get away with it. Somebody pulls a knife and the ambulance has to come and haul away the pieces. My boy and I have our own diggings where we work our own stone. We took 1500 pipe pieces down to the Rosebud reservation one year and sold them all in one day. The hardest thing to get is straight sumac stems. We have some relatives who put in most of their time cutting them for us. The tools in this highly specialized shop were files, hacksaws, an emery wheel and some knives." I've always been sorry I didn't pay the $6.00 asked for a most elaborate pipe, showing a buffalo charging an Indian who crouched behind a stump. Some of the carvings there men made were works of art. On the way home, I determined to smoke the new pipe. Now I know why the Indians pass the pipe around the circle. It gets too hot for any one to hold very long. I also brought home a piece of fresh or soft pipestone. I buried it in the cellar of the old house to keep it moist and when we built the office forgot to look for it. Somewhere under the present office is a large hunk of pipestone which may puzzle some future pipe collector. There is a pipestone in Manitoba where apparently the same vein reaches the surface." Robert E. Hodgson (1893-1968) was superintendent of the Southern Experiment Station from 1919 to 1960. He promoted modern agricultural methods in Waseca and throughout Minnesota. From 1948 to 1964, Hodgson wrote a column for The Farmer Magazine, and his column “Bob Hodgson Talks” appeared in more than one hundred rural Minnesota newspapers for over 20 years. Hodgson was a member of the Waseca County Historical Society, the Waseca County Horse Thief Detectives, The Boy Scouts and other organizations. Among his many interests were history, nature study and pipe collecting. During World War II, Hodgson wrote a once a month letter to members of Boy Scout Troop 85 who were serving in the armed forces all over the world. The letters were published in the Waseca Journal with separate copies printed and mailed to any Waseca serviceman who wished to receive them. Hodgson’s letters maintained the home contacts, helped men keep up on the locations of friends and provided morale-boosting communications for those far away from home.