James-Younger Gang Bank Raid
The Northfield Historical Society’s main exhibition tells the story of Northfield’s most famous day, September 7, 1876. The exhibit dives into Northfield’s beginnings, fostering a sense of the land and the people who settled the town. It provides an introduction to the notorious James-Younger Gang and the series of events at the First National Bank of Northfield that led Northfield’s citizens to rise up and defend itself. Additionally, it highlights Northfield citizens of all ages who witnessed the event and the aftermath including the town’s heroes who are still celebrated to this day.
Features of the display include the bank’s ledger book, one of the single shot rifles used to defend the town, reprinted photographs of the outlaws taken at death or capture, as well as firearms, spurs, and a saddle taken from an outlaw’s horse. Eyewitness accounts are peppered throughout the exhibit and the bank site itself, the location of the actual robbery and murder of cashier Joseph Lee Heywood, proves to be a chilling reminder of Northfield’s most famous day.
John J. Sletten
Visitors to NHS will be treated to an unique exhibit this summer on one of Northfield’s downtown merchants from a decade ago, John J. Sletten. People are probably most familiar with Sletten due to his artwork which can still be seen in a variety of places around town. Less is known, however, about his ‘day job’ as a cobbler, repairing shoes for those in Northfield. The new exhibit blends both the artwork and the cobbler’s trade to create a glimpse into the life of Northfield’s own cobbler-artist.
Visitors can explore the shoeshine box or try putting together a leather moccasin. There is a shoe trivia game available as well as a talk-back board where YOU can share your hobby as part of the exhibit. The display is available for viewing until December of 2021.