Pipestem Resort State Park gets its name from the native pipestem or meadowsweet plant. Native Americans and early pioneers used the hollowed-out twigs as shafts for tobacco pipes. For generations, the descendants of Scotch, Irish and English farmers farmed the relatively flat plateau on the east side of the Bluestone River Gorge. The land was rich in beauty but poor in jobs. In the 1960s, West Virginia received financial assistance to buy property to create a park that would attract visitors who could help grow the local economy. The park was built with grants provided by the Area Redevelopment Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce under the administration of President John F. Kennedy. The park officially opened on Memorial Day 1970.