Museum Gallery and Historic Bank Site Closed June 3

The Museum Gallery and historic First National Bank site will be closed, June 3.  We will not have tours the entire day.  The Museum Gallery and the bank site will open on June 4th.

 

Grant Goes East and Meets Lee on the Battlefield

Grant PaintingCivil War enthusiast and amateur historian Jim Stark will discuss the American Civil War’s 1864 Battle of the Wilderness in his presentation, “Grant Goes East and Meets Lee on the Battlefield,” Thursday, June 5, 6:30 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society. The event is free and open to the public.

Stark, a former president of the Northfield and Rice County historical societies, will discuss Ulysses S. Grant’s appointment as general of all Union armies and his subsequent decision to direct the Army of the Potomac in the eastern theater of battle. “This brought the two most prominent generals of the Civil War — Grant and the South’s Robert E. Lee — in direct conflict for the first time,” explains Stark. The Battle of the Wilderness commenced on May 4, 1864.

“Both North and South fought many battles with heavy losses on both sides and neither side would back down,” says Stark. “Many believed that the war’s outcome was in the balance that summer of 1864.”

The Northfield History Month celebration includes a number of events that will end with a festive fireworks display July 4. In addition, local stores will display historic photos from the Save the Depot organization that document the rich history of the role of railroads in the area’s thriving agricultural businesses and industries.

Nearly all of the remaining scheduled events are free and open to the public, including a  free admission day to the Northfield Historical Society museum:
June 19: “A Beacon So Bright: The Life of Laurence McKinley Gould” presentation
June 22: Free admission to the Northfield Historical Society museum
June 26: Opening of “Northfield Wheels: A History of the Automobile” exhibit featuring a show by the Sundowners Car Club
June 27: History Mystery Pub Crawl in Northfield
July 2: Books and Stars with the historic Fort Snelling Band
July 4: Vintage baseball game
July 4: Fireworks

For more information about these programs visit the event page or call NHS at 507-645-9268.

History Month Logo

Educator/Program Evaluation

NHS is looking to hire a contract employee to conduct an evaluation of the current NHS youth programs and develop partnerships with third and sixth grade teachers in the Northfield School District to see where NHS can be more involved.

The job description can be found  here or on the About Us page.

If interested send a resume and cover letter to:

Northfield Historical Society
Attn: Hayes Scriven, Executive Director
408 Division Street
Northfield MN, 55057

Or scriven (AT) northfieldhistory.org

Memorial Day

We will be closed on May 26th in honor of Memorial Day.  We will open up on May 27th.

Memorialday

Repair work in the exhibit gallery

The contractors have started repair work from the water leak that affected the exhibit gallery.  The Museum Store and the First National Bank site are still open.  No admission charge until the repairs have been completed.

 

If you have any questions please call us at 507-645-9268.

 

Get your graduation gifts at The Museum Store

Lasso some lootThe Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is inviting graduates — both college and high school — to take some “loot” with them when they graduate and “go that-away” on life’s journey. The Museum Store is the perfect place to shop for graduation gifts. There are coffee mugs, books, T-shirts, post cards, the new insulated tumbler and more, all reminders of an important time of life that was spent in Northfield.

The theme of the Museum Store’s retail campaign for the graduation season is “Take more Loot than the James Gang when you leave Northfield.” This is a reference to the storied bank raid of 1876 when Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang left town in full retreat with virtually nothing to show for it.

The theme was developed by St. Olaf College senior Laura Begin. Laura is a Studio Arts major with a concentration in Media Studies. She was looking for a way to become involved in the community and apply her art to a real-world, commercial situation. Her contribution earned her college credit.

“Laura has done a phenomenal job creating a theme and a look that reflects the merchandise we have to offer graduates,” said Nola Matheson, chair of the Museum Store Committee. “We think this will remind shoppers looking for graduation or college send-off gifts to visit our store.”

NHS also invites students and their families to stop in and take a tour of the museum. A permanent exhibit chronicles in detail the famous Great Northfield, Minnesota Bank Raid, which marked the beginning of the end of the storied Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang. There are always rotating exhibits that provide perspective on Northfield as it evolved through the years.

The Museum and Museum Store are open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends.

Northfield History Month starts May 30

History Month LogoThe Northfield Historical Society will open Northfield History Month with a screening of two documentaries at St. Olaf College on May 30. The celebration will end with a festive fireworks display on July 4.

In addition, local stores will display historic photos from the Save the Depot organization that document the rich history of the role of railroads in the area’s thriving agricultural businesses (grain, dairy, lumber) and industries (milling, cereal, milk products, machinery).

Nine of the 10 scheduled events are free and open to the public, including two days of free admission to the Northfield Historical Society museum:

May 30: Ytterboe the Dog and Across the Cannon
St. Olaf College, Buntrock Commons, Viking Theater at 10:30 a.m.Watch two documentaries  shown in conjunction with the college’s reunion weekend — one about the famous Ytterboe campus mascot and the other about the friendly rivalry between Carleton and St. Olaf.

May 31: Free admission to the Northfield Historical Society museum

June 5: “Grant Goes East and Meets Lee on the Battlefield”Grant Painting
Northfield Historical Society at 6:30 p.m.
This Civil War presentation by Jim Stark looks at the 1864 Battle of the Wilderness — the first Civil War meeting between generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.

June 19: “A Beacon So Bright: The Life of Laurence McKinley Gould”
Northfield Historical Society at 6:30 p.m.
Listen to Carleton College Archivist Eric Hillemann talk about Carleton College’s fourth president. Even though some urged the polar explorer and geologist known as “Mr. Antarctica” to enter politics or even run NASA, Gould chose to devote his considerable talents toward furthering the fortunes of higher education while leading the college.

June 22:
Free admission to the Northfield Historical Society museum

June 26: “Northfield Wheels: An Automotive History” exhibit openingWheels Exhibit Photo
Northfield Historical Society at 6:30 p.m.
Learn about Northfield’s surprisingly rich automotive history over the last century — from car-building pioneers Fred Bates and the Fey brothers to the DeMann family and the countless businesses and organizations that proliferated in town with the advent of the automobile. Museum patrons also will be able to take in car show sponsored by the Sundowners Car Club along Division Street.

June 27: History Mystery Pub Crawl
Downtown Northfield, meet at Bridge Square at 6:30 p.m. for registration, tour starts at 7 p.m.
Explore some of Northfield’s most historic buildings while enjoying your favorite drink. Learn the history behind the Ebel Block (now Froggy Bottom’s), the Scofield Building (Rueb ‘N’ Stein), the Archer House (Upstairs Tavern), and the Old Northfield Fire Station (The Contented Cow). Cost is $25.

July 2: Books and Stars with the Fort Snelling History Players Band
Bridge Square; Booker opens at 6:30, performance at 7 p.m.
When the U.S. Army arrived at the junction of the Mississippi and St. Peter (now Minnesota) rivers it began a rich tradition of music at Fort Snelling. Army musicians performed official calls on the fife and drum as well as military marches and popular music of the day. At this Northfield Historical Society, Northfield Public Library and Friends of the Library joint event listen to costumed musicians discuss the role of music in the military and play selections that could have been heard at the fort while it was an active military post (1819–1946).

July 4: Vintage Baseball Game
Vintage Team
St. Olaf College below Old Main Hill at 1 p.m.
See baseball the way it was meant to be played when the Northfield Silver Stars take on the St. Croix Baseball Club. 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.

Fireworks
This year’s Fourth of July display will be launched from the kickball diamond of the Northfield Middle School (just south of town on Division Street/Highway 246) at dusk. Spectators are welcome to view the display from the comfort of their own blankets and lawn chairs on the green spaces of the middle and high schools, Bridgewater Elementary, and nearby Taylor Park (be sure to clean up your area after the show) — or wherever you have a good view.

 

For more information about these events visit northfieldhistory.org or the Northfield History Month page.