The First National Bank is now part of the Northfield Historical Society Museum (408 Division St., 507/645-9268, www.northfieldhistory.org, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 1–4 p.m. Sun. year-round, plus 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon. summer, $4 adults).
Though the counter is a replica, the safe, clock (permanently set to 1:50), and other items are original, and it looks exactly as it did on that fateful day. One room has displays about the robbery, including some of the outlaws’ guns and a saddle, plus a small back room hosts rotating exhibits on other aspects of city history.
If you can’t be in town for the annual reenactment of the shoot-out, you can watch it on video. The Outlaw Trail brochure available at the museum and chamber details sites in Northfield and beyond where they ate, slept, rendezvoused, and hid out.
The Northfield Historic Points of Interest brochure leads you on an architectural tour of the town; one of the stops is the modest home of Norwegian-born author O. E. Rolvaag. For many visitors, a wander through downtown and a stroll along the riverwalk, followed by a rest in lovely Bridge Square, is the highlight of a visit to Northfield.
The downtown park hosts special events such as concerts every Thursday night during the summer, plus special events at other times.
The scenic St. Olaf and Carleton campuses possess several minor attractions. The Carleton College Art Gallery (507/646-4469, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Wed., noon–10 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., noon–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun., free admission) is in the lower level of the school’s Concert Hall.
The Goodsell Observatory (507/646-4000) is a beautiful 1887 Richardsonian Romanesque building. If the skies are clear on the first Friday of the month, you can gaze at the planets through its original 16.2-inch refractor during the first two hours after dark. Both buildings are centered on the Bald Spot (where you’ll probably have to dodge flying disks—this school is mad about ultimate Frisbee) in the center of campus.
Nearby, behind the Cowling Recreation Center, is a petite Japanese Garden. St. Olaf’s Flaten Art Museum (507/646-3248, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Wed. and Fri., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thurs., 2–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun., free admission) features work by regional, national, and international artists.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition