Silver Stars take two in impressive fashion

Silver STarsWhat an exhibition the Silver Stars put on at the Scott-Carver Steam Threshing Show last Sunday. The Stars took apart an under-manned Quickstep team 19-5 and then absolutely thumped a formidable team from Arllington 17-0.

The Stars played great defense all day long, getting to balls, making good throws to the right bases. The game was played on an improvised field, and, at times, it took some imagination to see a base ball match out there. The outfield was dotted with early 20th century farm equipment and out buildings. Outfielders chased fly balls at their own peril.

The Stars strikers put on a clinic. The Admiral and Barndoor Burton would occasionally stretch the field with a moon shot to left or right. Tornado Silkey and Cannonshot Richardson each tallied three times in each match. Lon Kruse scored five times on the day. Almost everyone scored in each match.

Sam “Texas T” Cattau, a Carleton College student, played his first match as a Silver Star. He acquitted himself well as our first base tender.

The Silver Stars are now 5-2 on the year. They travel to Menomonie, Wis on Saturday, Aug. 23 for two nine-stanza matches, one with the host Blue Caps and a second with the Rum River Rovers, who we defeated at Stillwater Logjam Days. Should be some fireworks at this affair.

Northfield Historical Society to present new Jesse James Film Festival

Great Northfield RaidThe Northfield Historical Society and Carleton College are teaming up this year to host the inaugural Jesse James Film Festival starting July 31. All showings will be in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema and will free and open to the public (donations appreciated).

“The NHS wanted to find a way to show these movies on the big screen,” says board chair Christian Hakala. “With the exception of the Brad Pitt movie, I’m not sure that many people in town have seen these films in a movie theater.” And of course there was special interest in creating some nostalgia with the presentation of a Roy Rogers double-feature.

“With Carleton College graciously agreeing to host,” adds Hakala, “we jumped at the chance to offer this summer event to the community.”

Five films were chosen for the festival because of their depictions of the famous attempt by the James-Younger Gang to rob Northfield’s First National Bank in 1876:

  • Thursday, July 31, 7 p.m.: The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid(1972), rated PG; directed by Phillip Kaufman, starring Cliff Robertson and Robert Duvall
  • Sunday, August 10, 2 p.m.: Roy Rogers double feature: Jesse James at Bay (1941) and Days of Jesse James (1939), both rated G
  • Thursday, August 14, 7 p.m.: The Long Riders (1980), rated R; directed by Walter Hill, starring David Carradine, Stacy Keach, and Dennis Quaid
  • Thursday, August 21, 6:30 p.m.: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford(2007), rated R; directed by Andrew Dominik, starring Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, and Sam Shepard

The festival will end during Defeat of Jesse James Days when SPUR Award Winning Author Johnny D. Boggs will present his book, Jesse James in the Movies at the Northfield Historical Society at 6:30 p.m. on September 4.
Jesse James and the Movies (Paperback) from Northfield Historical Society on Square Market

Northfield Wheels Exhibit Opening Photos

Wheels exhibit openingWe have been so busy here at NHS that I have not had time to post the photos from the “Northfield Wheels” exhibit opening.  Here they are!  Big thankyou to the Sundowners Car Club for putting on a great car show.

Outlaw Run 2014

Outlaw RunSaddle up the Iron Horse, the 7th annual Outlaw Run roars to life on August 16th.  Starting in historic downtown Northfield, riders will explore southern Minnesota did like the notorious James-Younger Gang did before the failed bank robbery in Northfield.  It’s fun and games at 3 watering holes along a 120 mile scenic cruise through southern Minnesota.  More details will be announced on the Outlaw Run page soon.  All funds raised go to support the Northfield Historical Society Youth Programs.

NHS Closed on July 4

FireworksWe will be closed on July 4th. We will reopen regular hours on Saturday July 5th.

You can still participate in NHS activities on the 4th though. The Northfield Silver Stars take on the St. Croix Base Ball Club at 1:00 p.m. at the foot of Old Main and the Fireworks display at dusk.  These are the final events of Northfield History Month!

Enjoy the 4th of July!


July 4 to feature old baseball and new fireworks

BaseballNorthfield History Month will come to an exciting close Friday, July 4, with a vintage baseball game followed by an evening fireworks display. Both events are sponsored by the Northfield Historical Society and are free and open to the public.

Watch an 1860s-style baseball game when the Northfield Silver Stars take on the St. Croix Baseball Club at 1 p.m. below St. Olaf College’s Old Main Hill (on Lincoln Street). Fans should be prepared for a few different rules, 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.

This year’s Fourth of July fireworks 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.


‘Northfield Wheels: An Automotive History’ exhibit opens June 26

WheelsNorthfield is famous as the city of “Cows, Colleges and Contentment,” but perhaps “Car-Buffs” should be added to tagline. Learn about Northfield’s surprisingly rich automotive history with the opening of “Northfield Wheels: An Automotive History,” an exhibit at the Northfield Historical Society Thursday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m. As part of the ongoing Northfield History Month celebration, admission to the museum will be free for the exhibit opening.

Museum patrons also will be able to take in car show (weather permitting) sponsored by the Sundowners Car Club along Division Street.

Northfield was quick to embrace the automobile. While Henry Ford was building his first car in the late 1890s, Fred Bates and the Fey brothers were crafting automobiles locally.

Car rallies were seen on Bridge Square by 1915 and the first automobile club was formed in 1927. By 1950 the town had seen no fewer than 27 dealerships selling 21 different car models. The DeMann family led the way in 1912, with one of the first Chevrolet agencies in the nation. Jens Johnson and Fred Bates had garages in town by 1905. The first service station appeared in 1919, and by 1933 motorists could choose from 15 within city limits.

The Northfield History Month celebration includes a number of events that will end with a festive fireworks display July 4. Remaining events are:

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

In addition, local stores are displaying historic photos from the Save the Depot organization that document the history of railroads in the area.