Northfield, Minnesota

Northfield is a city in Minnesota. Historically, it is famous for the "defeat of Jesse James." It is also one of the most fragrant cities in the United States because of the local Malt-O-Meal plant.

On September 7, 1876, the James Younger gang rode into town with the intention of robbing the First National Bank of Northfield. Northfield citizens, tipped off by their suspicious behavior, engaged in a quick but fierce firefight with the gang, resulting in the deaths of two citizens and two gang members. Six other gang members were variously wounded and fled south; four were captured two weeks later just 50 miles from Northfield.

Malt-O-Meal was acquired by POST Consumer Brands in 2016, which is why the Northfield plant has a large red POST sign. Depending on which cereal is being produced at the time, the town can be filled with the distinctive aroma of popcorn, chocolate, and cinnamon.



Northfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (toll free +1-800-658-2548. State Route 3 The Northfield Convention & Visitors Bureau can help you plan your trip to Northfield. They provide information on attractions, featured events, local history, arts and culture, recreation, group tours, and more.
St. Olaf College St. Olaf College, located on a hill on the west side of Northfield, was founded by Norwegian immigrants in 1874 and belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Carleton College, One North College Street, ☏ +1 507-646-4000. Carleton College was founded in 1866. The campus covers an area of 950 acres, of which 880 acres of the arboretum is open to the public as a nature preserve and park. The Arboretum was named one of the best running trails in Minnesota by Runner's World magazine. Walking in the Arboretum is highly recommended. The Gould Library, which is open to the public, has a collection of over one million volumes.
Northfield Historical Society (408 Division St, ☏ +1 507-645-9268). The site of the bank attack, restored to its original condition. Bullet holes on the wall are real. Tours and souvenirs are available.
Depot Diner.... .a Museum, 217 Water St S (Hwy 3 to 3rd St W east to parking lot. Or just across the downtown pedestrian bridge from the library), Thursday 4-7PM, Friday-Saturday 1-4PM. museum - interesting collection of nature, science, technology and art. The Museum Store sells local fossils, collectibles, scientific posters, antiques, and used nonfiction science/nature books.


What to do

Defeat of Jesse James Days Celebration
On September 7, 1876, the James Young Gang attempted to rob the First National Bank of Northfield. Local citizens, aware of the situation, armed themselves and resisted the robbers, successfully thwarting the theft. The robbers killed bank teller Joseph Lee Haywood and Swedish immigrant Nicholas Gustafson. Several of the gang members were killed on the street, and Cole, Bob, and Jim Younger were cornered near Madelia, Minnesota. Jesse and Frank James fled west to the Dakota Territory, where the remaining gang members were killed or taken into custody. When the James Gang is considered in connection with the postwar rebellion, this raid is sometimes called the last major incident of the American Civil War. Two slogans often used in Northfield are "Jesse James slipped in here," based on the failed raid, and "Get a gun, rob a bank!" as the alarm sounded by hardware store merchant J.S. Allen spurred the Northfield men into action. In the Bob Younger's horse was killed and Frank James assassinated First Nations Bank teller Joseph Lee Haywood. Swedish immigrant Nikolaus Gustafsson was shot in the head by Cole Younger and died of his wounds four days later. Alonzo Banker, a bank employee, was shot in the shoulder while trying to flee.

The event became the basis for an annual outdoor heritage celebration called The Defeat of Jesse James Days. Held the weekend after Labor Day, it is one of Minnesota's largest outdoor celebrations. Thousands of visitors witness a reenactment of the robbery on Division Street outside the First National Bank in Northfield. Other events at the festival include a championship rodeo, carnival, car show, parade, arts and crafts exhibits, and musical performances. Many food stations will be set up in Bridge Square, and live music will be performed at night in a tent at the Water Street Entertainment Center. Antique horseshoes will be hidden in public places throughout the city, and whoever finds them will win the year's prize.


Riverwalk Market Fair (the art of the Minnesota summer Saturday), downtown Northfield along the Cannon River (Division Street at Bridge Square is the center of town). early June through late October: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.; from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The Riverwalk Market Fair takes place along the beautiful Canon Riverfront in historic Northfield. In addition to arts and crafts by area artists, locally grown produce, and artisan foods, the Riverwalk Market Fair also features live entertainment, family activities, and special events. Free.
Theater and exhibits sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild. There are art exhibits and a gift store featuring locally made crafts such as pottery, jewelry, and cards. Plays at the Northfield Arts Guild (NAG) Theater. See website for current plays and exhibits.
St. Olaf Christmas Festival. First Thursday after Thanksgiving. One of the nation's premier choral events, held by St. Olaf College since 1912. It is nationally broadcast on public radio and television. Tickets are hard to come by, so get yours early.
Crazy Days. Usually the last Thursday in July each year, downtown area businesses offer discounts and sell on the street.



Depot Diner - Museum and store (Art on Water), 217 Water St. (just across the pedestrian bridge from Division), Thursdays 4-7PM, Fridays Saturdays 1-4PM. encyclopedic collection of rare, unusual and antique items. Fossils, rocks, antiques from around the world, blue plates, and oddities for sale.
Sketch Artist" 300 Division Street S, ☏ +1 507-645-2811. open all week. Original art supplies and gift boutique in lovely downtown Northfield, MN. They have a large selection of high quality art supplies and environmentally friendly products. Gifts include a fun selection of cards, paper, Japanese ceramics, novelties, journals, and children's items. Local art is also on display and for sale. Whether you are an artist or not, if you are looking for something unique and off the beaten path, this is definitely the place to go!
con.tent, 314 Division Street Specializing in new and used books. Also hosts reading events.
Rare Pair, 401 Division Street. Quality shoes, clothing and accessories for both men and women.
Paper Petalum, 212 Division St. Quality Scandinavian gifts.



Northfield is a suburb about 50 kilometers south of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in the extended metropolitan area of both cities in the Midwest of the United States. The Cannon River flows through the city. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city's area is 18.2 square kilometers, of which 0.1 square kilometers is water.



Northfield was founded in 1855 by John W. North. In the beginning, the town lived mainly from the lumber and grain mills that were built on the Cannon River. Later, the share of milk and meat production in the primary sector grew.

Northfield College (now Carleton College) was founded in 1866, followed eight years later by St. Olaf College. Both universities with a total of over 5,000 students shaped the structure and development of Northfield.

On September 7, 1876, the crime gang led by Jesse James robbed the First National Bank of Northfield. However, a bank employee refused to open the safe. The citizens of the city recognized the situation and defended themselves against the attack. They managed to get the gang to flee, but two bank employees and two members of the James Younger gang were killed in the process. Some members of the gang, including Jesse and Frank James, managed to escape, while others were captured. This failed robbery spelled the end of the James Younger gang. Today, an annual festival called The Defeat of Jesse James Days is held in Northfield.

Since the 1970s, the metropolitan area of the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul has continued to expand southward, giving Northfield more and more the structure of a satellite town. Nevertheless, numerous buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries have been preserved in the city center.


Demographic data

According to the 2000 census, Northfield was home to 17,147 people in 4,909 households and 3,210 families. The racial makeup of the population is 92.6 percent White, 2.4 percent African American, and smaller or multiple groups. 5.7 percent of the residents consider themselves Hispanics.

Children under the age of 18 live in 35.4% of the 4,909 households, married couples live in 52.7%, single women live in 9.6% and 34.6% are non-family households. 27.5% of all households consist exclusively of a single person and 9.6% are single people over 65 years of age. The average household size is 2.53 people, and that of families is 3.08.

In terms of the entire city, the population consists of 20.2% residents under the age of 18, 32.1% between 18 and 24 years, 21.0% between 25 and 44 years, 16.1% between 45 and 64 years and 10.5% over 65 years. The median is 23 years. About 52.3% of the population is female.

The median income for a household is USD 49,972 and for a family USD 61,055. The per capita income is USD 18,619. About 7.2% of the population and 2.8% of families live below the poverty line.



Important roads through Northfield are the Minnesota State Routes 3 and 19. Interstate 35 runs ten kilometers to the west. Two rail lines, the Canadian Pacific Railway and Progressive Rail, also run through the city.

The nearest airport is further south near Faribault, Faribault Municipal Airport. The nearest commercial airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, is approximately 30 miles north of Northfield.



Northfield has six public schools (four primary schools, one intermediate school and one high school) with around 3,800 students, and three private schools. The city is also home to Carleton College and St. Olaf College. Many of the more than 5000 students live in Northfield and ensure a very young population structure in the city.


Sons and daughters of the town

Edward Fitzgerald (1890–1966), ice hockey player
Harold William Henry (1909–1976), Roman Catholic minister, Archbishop of Korea
Peter Agre (born 1949), molecular biologist
Siri Hustvedt (born 1955), writer
Alexandra Holden (born 1977), actress
Thomas Rüfenacht (born 1985), ice hockey player
Jackson Erdman (born 1997), football player