Get your horns boys, we’re starting a band!

mtcowboybandIn 1912, a cowboy band and a group of Blackfeet Indians from newly developed Glacier National Park traveled to expositions in Minneapolis and Chicago to promote the state of Montana. Hired by Great Northern Railway President Louis W. Hill, the son of James J. Hill, the musical ensemble included a cornet soloist named G. Oliver Riggs.

Award-winning freelance journalist Joy Riggs, the great-granddaughter of G. Oliver Riggs, will tell the story of this unusual adventure in an engaging presentation at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, at the Northfield Historical Society. The event is co-sponsored by the Vintage Band Festival.

Joy Riggs is writing a narrative nonfiction book about the extraordinary exploits of her paternal great-grandfather, a pioneering Minnesota music man. She received a 2015 emerging artist grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) and serves on the boards of both the Northfield Historical Society and the Vintage Band Festival. She blogs about her book project and her family’s adventures in making and appreciating music at A native of Alexandria, Minn., she lives in Northfield with her husband and their three children.

Chester Congdon & The Forgotten Era Of Minnesota History

ChesterCongdonJoin the Northfield Historical Society on July 21st as we welcome the Executive Director of Duluth, Minnesota’s Glensheen Mansion, Dan Hartman who will present “Chester Congdon & The Forgotten Era Of Minnesota History.”

Chester Congdon was involved in everything and has had a significant impact on Minnesota history. From the way our senator districts are arranged statewide to the Tonnage Tax fight which consumed the entire state and almost divided it into two. He was instrumental in creating the North Shore Drive, which today is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Minnesota.

More importantly Mr. Congdon should be known for his involvement in the creation of the largest US Corporation in history at the time. A company whose creation created the wealthiest man in the world.

The program will be held at the Northfield Historical Society and start at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public and we will have light refreshments.

Front of House

Bank Raid in July!

Trip Yell 2013On Thursday July 14, the James-Younger Gang is going to attempt to rob the historic First National Bank of Northfield.  There will be two bank raid reenactments on Thursday, the first at 6:00 and second at 6:30 p.m. on the 400 block of Division.  If you have ever wanted to see a bank raid up close and personal this is your chance.

In addition, NHS will be open and free to the public from 5:00-7:00ish p.m.

The bank raids are in conjunction with a conference begin held at Carleton College that day.

Vintage Base Ball

Team Photo IISee baseball the way it was meant to be played when the Northfield Silver Stars take on the St. Croix Base Ball Club at 1 p.m., on July 4th  at St. Olaf College (below Old Main Hill).

The rules of 1860 were different from today’s game, including: no gloves allowed; the batter is out if the ball is caught on the first bounce; no balls or strikes are called by an umpire, although a batter can still strike out if he swings and misses three times; foul balls are not considered strikes; and base runners can be tagged out if they overrun first base.




4th of July

4th of July photo taken by  Mark Heiman. His Flickr Album is here:

4th of July photo taken by Mark Heiman. His Flickr Album is here:











The Northfield Historical Society will be closed on July 4th.  We will reopen on July 5th.

Happy 4th of July!


Meet Teddy Roosevelt June 29


Teddy Roosevelt Live!

The Northfield Historical Society and the Northfield Public Library have teamed up for the unique living history experience Teddy Roosevelt Live! at Northfield’s Central Park June 29 as part of the Books and Stars program. The event will include an interactive outdoor camp from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a presentation by the president at 7 p.m.

All the day’s activities are free and open to the public, and will take place rain or shine. No advance registration is required.

Teddy Roosevelt Camp
Three-time national champion living history performer and Roosevelt look-alike Adam Lindquist will run the camp before taking the stage. TR Camp will be an interactive experience where guests will see the president’s bed, writing table, steamer trunk, and antique accessories of the period. Displays in the camp will provide insight into Roosevelt’s many experiences, including his cowboy days in the Dakotas, fighting in the Spanish-American War, the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Safari, and the Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition down the “River of Doubt.”

Artifact displays and animal skins will provide Teddy with a variety of topics to speak about throughout the day.

The President on Stage
At 7 p.m. Teddy will take the stage to talk about how character helped a “sickly runt” become one of the country’s best-known presidents. Listeners will also get a taste of the president’s sense of humor as he recounts family stories about pet pigs and snakes, and how to disrupt visits by foreign dignitaries.

Books & Stars is made possible by : City of Northfield– Library, Northfield School District– Community Services Division, Northfield Historical Society & a Grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. This project is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.












In celebration of our newest exhibit, Malt-O-Meal Originals: An Exhibition of Firsts, on June 23 we will have FREE ADMISSION to everyone!

Come on in and learn about the history of Malt-O-Meal and the failed 1876 robbery by the James-Younger Gang!