Exhibits

Permanent Exhibits:

James-Younger Gang Bank Raid

The Northfield Historical Society’s main exhibition tells the story of when the notorious James-Younger Gang attempted to raid the First National Bank of Northfield in 1876. The exhibit reveals the richer history behind Northfield’s most famous event through its display of photographs, documents, and artifacts from the time of the raid and beyond.

In this exhibit, you will learn about the outlaws Jesse and Frank James; Bob, Jim, and Cole Younger; as well as Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell; and why they came to Minnesota to rob a bank. But you will also learn about Northfield citizens who defended their bank and their town: heroes like Joseph Lee Heywood, Henry Wheeler, and A. R. Manning.

Features of the display include the bank’s ledger book, the single shot rifle Wheeler used to defend the town, reprinted photographs of the outlaws taken at death or capture, as well as saddles, firearms, and spurs

After exploring the exhibit, visit the actual site where the James-Younger Gang attempted to rob Northfield’s bank.

First National Bank of Northfield

Restored by the Northfield Historical Society in 1975, the First National Bank of Northfield historic site includes the actual bank vault from 1876 behind a replica teller’s cage. Here you can imagine what it might have been like to stand up against armed robbers and protect the city’s investments, at your own peril. Learn more about the historic bank site.

Temporary Exhibits:

Malt-O-Meal Premiums: Toys, Tools, and Special Offers

 The Northfield Historical Society has a new portion of the Malt-O-Meal collection on display featuring premiums, all of the special offers distributed over the years to entice consumers to buy more Malt-O-Meal. The Malt-O-Meal Company put its logo on a variety of everyday objects in order to increase brand awareness and product loyalty. Showcased are artifacts and images of premiums throughout the company’s history, from early 1-cent candy dish offers to Hot Wheels cars designed for the company’s 75th Anniversary. Come visit this new exhibition of fun products soon – it will be on view until spring 2018!

This exhibition is the second in a series of displays featuring the collection of artifacts donated to NHS by the family of John S. Campbell, the founder of the Malt-O-Meal Company. Thanks to this donation, we can continue to tell the story of Malt-O-Meal in our community today!

Service and Sacrifice: Northfield in the Great War

World War I, or the Great War as it was called at the time, was a devastating war that affected many European countries before the United States joined. Northfield citizens, like others in the U.S. and throughout Minnesota, watched the war begin feeling as though it had nothing to do with themselves. But as the war continued, curiosity and even anxiety took over. Northfield citizens formed opinions and many answered the call to serve. This exhibit, the first in a series of three, focuses on how the Northfield community was affected by and reacted to the Great War.

Exhibit sponsored by the Eugene H. Truax VFW Post 4393