shopping_cart

Building on a Borrowed Past
Place and Identity in Pipestone, Minnesota

By Sally J. Southwick

Winner of the Great Lakes American Studies Association/Ohio University Press Book Award

"Pipestone illustrates the persistent tension inherent in American attempts to adapt the continent’s past for use as a foundation on which to build a cohesive identity. The selective use of a Native sense of sacred traditions made the landscape historically meaningful and worth preserving without compromising secular cultural beliefs in American material progress."

from Building on a Borrowed Past

“Who would have guessed that a slender volume about a tiny prairie town could address so many important topics?”

Western Historical Quarterly

“This fine-grained study of a single community illuminates the larger process of culture production and offers significant insights on the ways that Euro-Americans rewrote the history of expansionism and dispossession of native people.”

Minnesota History

Why is there a national monument near a small town on the Minnesota prairie? Why do the town's residents dress as Indians each summer and perform a historical pageant based on a Victorian-era poem? To answer such questions, Building on a Borrowed Past: Place and Identity in Pipestone, Minnesota shows what happens when one culture absorbs the heritage of another for civic advantage.

Founded in 1874, Pipestone was named for the quarries where regional tribes excavated soft stone for making pipes. George Catlin and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described the place and its tribal history. Promotion by white residents of the quarries as central to America's Indian heritage helped Pipestone obtain a federal Indian boarding school in the 1890s and a national monument in the 1930s. The annual “Song of Hiawatha” pageant attracted tourists after World War II. Sally J. Southwick's prizewinning study demonstrates how average, small–town citizens contributed to the generic image of “the Indian” in American culture.

Examining oral histories, memoirs, newspapers, federal documents, civic group records, and promotional literature, Southwick focuses on the role of middle–class individuals in establishing a historical, place–based identity. Building on a Borrowed Past reveals how identities are formed through adaptation of cultural, spiritual, racial, and historical symbols.

Sally J. Southwick is a native of southwestern Minnesota and has lived throughout the West. An independent scholar, she has written on United States culture and western history.

Order a print copy

Paperback · $19.96 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $24.95 · Save 20% ($19.96)

Hardcover · $44 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $55.00 · Save 20% ($44)

Buy from a local bookstore

IndieBound

US and Canada only

Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of Building on a Borrowed Past

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links

Related Subjects

History · American History · Sociology

Formats

Paperback
978-0-8214-1618-1
Retail price: $24.95, S.
Release date: March 2005
216 pages
Rights:  World

Hardcover
978-0-8214-1617-4
Retail price: $55.00, S.
Release date: March 2005
216 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Electronic
978-0-8214-4148-0
Release date: March 2005
216 pages

Related Titles

Cover of 'An American Colony'

An American Colony
Regionalism and the Roots of Midwestern Culture
By Edward Watts

The Old Northwest—the region now known as the Midwest—has been largely overlooked in American cultural history, represented as a place smoothly assimilated into the expanding, manifestly-destined nation. An American Colony: Regionalism and the Roots of Midwestern Culture studies the primary texts and principal conflicts of the settlement of the Old Northwest to reveal that its entry into the nation's culture was not without problems.

History · American History · Colonialism and Decolonization · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Sowing the American Dream'

Sowing the American Dream
How Consumer Culture Took Root in the Rural Midwest
By David Blanke

From 1840 to 1900, midwestern Americans experienced firsthand the profound economic, cultural, and structural changes that transformed the nation from a premodern, agrarian state to one that was urban, industrial, and economically interdependent. Midwestern commercial farmers found themselves at the heart of these changes. Their actions and reactions led to the formation of a distinctive and particularly democratic consumer ethos, which is still being played out today.

Business and Economics · History · American History

Cover of 'The Mound Builders'

The Mound Builders
By Robert Silverberg

The Mound Builders traces the speculation surrounding the thousands of earthen mounds built across the Midwest some time between 1000 B.C. and 1000 A.D. and the scientific excavations which uncovered the history and culture of the ancient Americans who built them.

Archaeology · Native American Studies · American History · Midwest · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Ohio Is My Dwelling Place'

Ohio Is My Dwelling Place
Schoolgirl Embroideries, 1800–1850
By Sue Studebaker

One of the most intriguing cultural artifacts of our nation's past was made by young girls—the embroidery sampler. In Ohio Is My Dwelling Place, American decorative arts expert Sue Studebaker documents the samplers created in Ohio prior to 1850, the girls who made them, their families, and the teachers who taught them to stitch.

Gender Studies · 19th century · History · Women’s Studies · Ohio and Regional · American History · Textile Arts · Art · Antiques and Collectibles · Women’s History