Defeat of Jesse James Days and NHS!

Here are  our hours for all next week and Defeat of Jesse James Days!Raid photo

September 5, 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. (Labor Day)
September 6, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
September 7, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
September 8, 10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
September 9, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
September 10, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
September 11, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Research Library Closed
Our research library will be closed all of next week.  If you have a request, we ask that you email it to us, and we will get back to you after DJJD.

NHS Social Happy Hour!

Help us celebrate Northfield’s history during DJJD with some locally produced spirits.  Imminent Brewing and Loon Liquors will offer up a few of their products for sampling that evening.  A monetary donation will be required and a valid ID to take part in the tasting.


WheelerBank Site Tours and the Wheeler Collection!
Make sure when you are visiting Northifeld that you take the bank site tour and see the fully restored bank where Joseph Lee Heywood stood his ground and refused to open the safe.  In addition, you can now see the rifle that Henry Wheeler used to defend the bank.

New Store Merchandise
Every year we try to develop new merchandise just for DJJD.  This year we have brought back a few old favorites, but also some new products!

2016 Outlaw Run Canceled

OutlawRunLogoThe Northfield Historical Society Board of Directors and the Outlaw Run Committee announced today that this year’s outlaw run, scheduled for August 27, has been canceled due to road safety concerns. The decision comes after an accident near Mazeppa on the planned Outlaw Run route, during which two committee members were injured.

“Although conditions were perfect when we checked the route a month ago, you never know what Minnesota’s summer road construction season might create,” says Hayes Scriven, executive director of the Northfield Historical Society. Recently a patch of road near Mazeppa was repaired in such a way that the surface was especially slippery for motorcycles, as discovered by the two committee members Sunday. The pair — one of whom was hospitalized — also were the designated leaders of the run.

Planning a large group motorcycle ride requires intricate planning of routes, with careful consideration of turns and using as many low-traffic roads as possible. “Canceling this event was not an easy decision,” says Scriven. “But the safety of our riders is our primary concern.”

Riders who have pre-registered will be refunded their entire registration fee.

If riders would still like to support the NHS Youth Programs they can purchase this year’s Outlaw Run t-shirt and a “History Badass” button in the NHS store.

Note that NHS is still exploring the possibility of hosting the Outlaw Run after-party at the Reub ‘N’ Stein in Northfield. Visit or the Outlaw Run’s Facebook page for updates.

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!