Northfield, Minnesota: Last Bank Jesse James Tried to RobIn addition to its historical import, the bank is rumored to have the ear of one of the robbers stapled to a piece of cardboard in its basement.
Northfield Historical Society Museum
- 408 Division St. S., Northfield, MN
- Northfield Historical Society Museum. North side of town. On Hwy 19/Division St. S., just east of the river, at the corner of Bridge Square and Division in the Scriver Building.
- Mem-Labor Day M-Sa 10 am -5 pm, Su 1-4 pm, Else Tu-Sa 10 am - 4 pm, Su 1-4 pm. (Call to verify)
Northfield Historical Society Museum: There's a human skeleton in the basement of the Historical Museum. It was displayed, years ago, in a glass-topped coffin. That's when the museum thought that it was Charlie Pitts, who robbed banks with Jesse James. [03/03/2009] Complete Story...
Visitor Tips and News About Last Bank Jesse James Tried to Rob
The Historical Museum is very worthwhile. The building had been the very last bank that the Jesse James Gang TRIED to rob. Of course they were defeated and run out of town, and their gang was destroyed. Sadly, two civilians were killed in the incident. One was a Swedish immigrant caught in the crossfire. The other was Robert Heywood, one of the bankers, who lied and claimed he couldn't open the safe because it was on a timer and couldn't be opened (The safe was unlocked the entire time! The robbers never even tried to open it themselves).
And just down the street from this museum is the Archer House. It was a hotel then and it's a hotel today, still decorated in an antique style. The archer house contains many stores, a salon and a beautiful restaurant called The Tavern, which has some of the best food in town, I might add.[Mary, 05/15/2007]
When visiting the Jesse James Museum, make sure to browbeat someone in the museum into letting you go down the basement to see the skeleton of one of the robber's (or some other unfortunate who was mistaken for the dead robber) and that same robber's dessicated ear on a scalp. These items were removed from display several year's ago as being too gruesome and distracting from the historical nature of the museum. Lucky thing Jesse isn't around today; obviously, the people of Northfield have gone soft.[11/20/1999]
We'd heard that the robber's ear was sewn to a piece of cardboard, not attached to a scalp. That made it even more appealing (to us, anyway). Who did the needlework?
I thought that this might be of interest under the crime and punishment heading. The last bank that Jesse James and his gang robbed was in Northfield and is now a museum.[Guzzle, 05/30/1998]