The mission of the Northfield Historical Society is to connect individuals to the history

of the Northfield area by collecting, preserving, and sharing its unique stories.

Visit Us

408 Division Street

Northfield, MN 55057

Phone number: 507-645-9268

Fax number: 507-663-6080


     Monday – Saturday 10 am to 4 pm

Sundays 1 pm to 4 pm


    Museum Visits with Guides Only

   Weekends beginning May 30

Saturdays: 11 to 2:30 pm

Sundays: 1 to 3:30 pm

Weekdays beginning June 15


$5 – Adults

$4 – Seniors (65+)

$3 – Students

$2 – Children (6 to 12)

Free – Children under 6

Free – NHS Members




Visiting the Museum: 

What You Need To Know

We are all living in a much different world than we were several months ago. Businesses have had to adapt to a new way of doing things and so has the museum. The following tips will help you know what to expect before you plan your next visit to our museum.

1. For now, all museum visitors must be on a guided tour. Guided tours will be available for groups of 10 or less to allow for social distancing. Guides will be available to tell the story of the raid on weekends beginning May 30 and weekdays beginning June 15. 

2. Much of the story of the 1876 raid will be told outdoors. Tours will have a chance to see the interior of the bank. At this time, tour groups will not be going into the museum.

3. The museum store will remain closed to shoppers but online ordering and curbside pick up will be available. Orders made during tour hours will be fulfilled immediately.

4. More of the museum may open for tours as the summer goes on. The staff and Board of Directors is taking a cautious approach to our reopening. We strive to keep our staff, volunteers, and visitors safe.

COVID-19 Archive Project

During this global pandemic, NHS is encouraging you and your kids to keep journals recording your thoughts and responses, fears and adaptations to what’s taking place. Then when this event is behind us, please consider donating your journals to the historical society. We want to create an archive of how our local community dealt with this inter-   national crisis. No one has seen such a pandemic since the Spanish Flu over 100 years ago and our future generations will want to know not just what happened at a national or state level but how we all felt about it. Write it down! It may be therapeutic for you but it will     certainly be a gift to future generations!

History is happening now and we are ALL a part of it!



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It's time to reveal this week's Whats-it Wednesday item! This week we chose a more challenging object, and here it is, a microwave generator! This generator was used in physics demonstrations at St. Olaf beginning in the 1950s. Thanks for playing and check back for more items next week! ... See MoreSee Less

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From the DJJD Committee:

Dear friends of the Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration,
After months of discussion, and evaluation, the DJJD committee has made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the 2020 Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration.

This decision was not made lightly, as we recognize the importance our celebration weekend holds for other nonprofits in our community and the impact it has on our local businesses, sponsors, celebration vendors and partners. However, we recognize the potential impossibility of monitoring and enforcing social distancing requirements. The health and safety of community members, vendors and exhibitors has always been the number one priority of the DJJD committee as we plan for the celebration.

Although the official celebration as we know it has been canceled, our committee remains committed to continue to evaluate all options, and are hopeful that we can still find an alternative way to celebrate as a community on a local level whether that be in person or through virtual methods. As it relates to our DJJD ambassador scholarship program, our 2020 Ambassadors and Junior Ambassadors have all committed to serve as ambassadors through summer 2021.

The committee extends our heartfelt thank you to the support we have received from members of the community, city staff, health & safety officials, and celebration partners. We will continue to provide updates in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you again for your support of the Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration. We are proud to hold one of the largest hometown festivals in the state of Minnesota – we will get through this just like the brave citizens of Northfield did on that fateful day, September 7, 1876, together.

Defeat of Jesse James Days Committee

** In the coming weeks, NHS will be working with the DJJD committee to plan cooperative virtual and in-person events and activities to celebrate our town. We are planning that the museum will be open for visits the entire celebration weekend and more details will be available soon on the hours to expect. Additionally, NHS has taken over the traditional 5k/15k run-walk and will be hosting it virtually this year. Look for more information on the OUTLAW RUN coming up! **
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It's Whats-it Wednesday! This week's item is pictured below and has been in our collection since 2001. We loved last week's guesses and conversations so please leave your best guesses in the comments and check back later today for the reveal!
Hint: This was used as an instructional tool.
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It's time to reveal this week's Whats-it Wednesday item! This weeks object is a darning egg, circa 1940s. Darning eggs are used to repair clothing such as socks. How many of you have used or still use darning eggs? ... See MoreSee Less

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It's time for Whats-it Wednesday! This week's item is pictured below, leave your best guess as to the identity of the mystery object in our collection and tune in later today for the answer! ... See MoreSee Less

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What Visitors Are Saying about the Northfield Historical Society

Visited with teenagers. They enjoyed the variety of explanations including a video orientation. Well done! Great restoration and presentation of a time after the Civil War when times were still turbulent.
Richard J., Gainesville, Georgia

We really enjoyed seeing this museum. They kept the actual bank part of it as it was when Jesse James and friends tried to abscond with the money. The film was very informative and we left feeling that we well understood what took place.
Kelly B.

Certainly worth the $5 admission…The young lady who walked us through the bank was a high school student who volunteers at the museum, She did a better job as a storyteller relating the events than many adults…
Trip Advisior

Three of the four of us [on the tour] are James historians, with one of us a person who works at the James Farm and two of us are James writers. We found the tour to be accurate and well done by our tour guide.
Elizabeth J. Lexington, Missouri

The Historical Society was very well done. There was a $5.00 entry fee and it was worth it. We watched a film on Jesse James and read more about him. It also had a room describing Malt o Meal. It’s worth the stop.
Via Trip Advisor

This is not your typical “any town” Historical Society Museum…
Annie T. - Yelp