Jesse James' Feather Duster of Death
The homestead of outlaw brothers Jesse and Frank James has been a tourist attraction since the 1880s, when their mother led the tours (She reportedly sold pebbles from Jesse's grave as souvenirs). Frank kept it going after mom died, selling autographed pictures of himself and charging fifty cents admission. Frank's son, Robert, later turned part of the 275-acre farm into a pitch and putt golf course, to keep 'em coming.
Jesse was born here in 1847, and was buried here after his murder in 1882. He did not die here. He was shot in the back of the head in nearby St. Joseph while dusting, and the feather duster of death is a significant display in this museum (For the record, the folks at the murder house don't believe the feather duster story). Jesse's Boots of Death are here as well, along with a bullet removed from his leg and his original tombstone -- or what was left of it after the souvenir hunters chipped it to pieces.
Twenty years after Jesse was buried here, his body was dug up and moved to a cemetery in town. Jesse would not rest in peace, however, since many people -- including those at the Jesse James Wax Museum -- believed that he was not dead. Did he really live to be 104 and finally pass away in Granbury, Texas? Jesse's body was dug up again, DNA testing was performed, and a panel of ten forensic experts declared that really, honestly, the body was Jesse James.
At RoadsideAmerica.com, however, we remind you that "ears don't lie."