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The speaker is a 77-year-old White man with a college education from Pipestone, Minnesota; he was recorded in 1968.

County: Pipestone
State: MN

Pipestone, in southwestern Minnesota, is bordering the Pipestone National Monument, created by Congress in 1937. For a thousand years Native Americans lived on the tall grass prairie of this area, travelling to the pipestone quarries to craft pipes for various purposes from the red stone. Today only Native Americans may quarry here to continue their traditions. Downtown Pipestone has many buildings made of Sioux quartzite, also quarried in the area until the 1930's.

Artist and writer George Catlin visited the site in 1836 and did much to make the quarries known around the world, by sketching the site and collecting some of the legends surrounding it. His writings inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to write of the area in his well known poem Song of Hiawatha in 1855.

The city of Pipestone wasn't founded until 1876, and survived blizzards, prairie fires, droughts, and grasshoppers early in its history. For over fifty years the town has held a Song of Hiawatha pageant every summer, and its downtown is a historic district. The speaker, however, is talking not about the region, but about a fishing trip he made to Hatchet Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Inf: We left about two o'clock in the float plane, headed for north to Hatchet Lake which is uh, about six hundred and twenty-five miles south of the Arctic Circle. We flew over a great country which to me looked like all lakes and trees and rock piles. And I asked the driver how he would know where our lake was. He just said, "Sit still and I'll get you there."

[FW: (laughing)].

So after two hours of straight flying, he s-, pointed to a little patch of water, not twenty miles, fifty miles away, and he said, "There's your lake." And when we got over to it, he made a circle and come down very nicely on the skis on the water. And we glided up to the pier and unloaded.

There was one cabin there which is all the cabin there is on that lake. And the other people were already, were there to take this plane back and they loaded up and got into the plane and we un-, got our gear out and blew-, got our sleeping bags set up in the cabin and our supplies all ready.

The next morning we got up and the, we had an Indian guide, a full-blooded Cree Indian. He said, "We'll go after jackfish this morning," which is uh, their name for the great northern.

We went about ten miles up the lake and then we put out our lines. We just used heavy tackle with spoons or plugs. No artificial bait is allowed up in Canada, up there, we had scarcely got our fly-, our uh tackle out before we commenced to catch fish and we had from one to three fish on most of the time. If any was smaller than ten pounds, they went back into the lake again, and the others we threw in a box, back of the boat.

After about two hours, we had all those we wanted and we started back home again. And then we took the fish off and gave them to the wife of the man that stays up there. She's an Indian and he's an Englishman. Well, she knew how to fillet fish and inside of half an hour, she had all those fish filleted and put in the ice barn.

The next morning we got up, then we went to a different part of the lake. We, just-, going to explore.

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