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Northfield Events

 

Riverwalk Market Fair

With scenic views of the Cannon River, one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities and a waterfall that casts a romantic glow in the evening, Northfield’s Riverwalk is a perfect way to spend an afternoon with the family or a romantic moment with that special someone. Ease into a sunny, summer weekend at the Riverwalk Market Fair and take in the sights, tastes and sounds through fine art, organic produce, artisan foods and local music. Saturdays, June to October.

 

Historical Society and Museum

Come learn about Northfield’s unique history, and experience life as it was in the 1800s at the Historical Society and Museum. The bank that the James-Younger gang attempted to rob in 1876 is one of Northfield’s most famous attractions, and the museum preserves the site as it stood on that fateful day.
 

Northfield Arts Guild

The Arts Guild is housed in two historic buildings. The downtown Center for the Arts includes an art gallery, dance studio, recital room, art classrooms, gift store and administrative offices. A few blocks away, a year-round season of theater is performed in a converted church.
 

Carleton College

For visitors to Northfield, Carleton College offers many attractions, including multiple ways to be one with nature.
 

Cowling Arboretum

Open to public use year round, Cowling Arboretum at Carleton College is an ideal place to hike, run, ski, fish or simply enjoy being outdoors. The upland and lowland forests along with the 150-acre prairie restoration provide excellent bird and wildlife watching. The extensive 15-mile trail system has been ranked by Runner’s Magazine as the top place to run in Minnesota and one of the top 10 in the country. In winter, trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing.
 

Goodsell Observatory

Built in the late 1890s on the campus of Carleton College, Goodsell houses three telescopes that are more than 110 years old. Both the 8″ and 16″ telescopes are regularly used for open houses. Open houses are held the first Friday of every month for two hours and starting times vary based on sunset. Goodsell also is home to modern telescopes that are set up when needed on the east lawn of the observatory.
 

Japanese Garden

Ancient rocks form the basic supporting frame of this compact, Japanese garden nestled behind Watson Hall at Carleton College. The garden was designed by Dr. David Slawson, who studied for two years in Kyoto with Kinsaku Nakane, one of Japan’s foremost garden designers. The garden is said to embody a philosophy of fulfillment found in harmony and tranquility of body, mind and spirit

 

St. Olaf College

Located on the west edge of town atop Manitou Heights, St. Olaf’s campus offers an impressive view of Northfield and the Cannon River Valley. St. Olaf presents musical recitals and concerts on a nearly daily basis, including the annual nationally televised St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

Norwegian-American Historical Association
 

Dating back to 1925, the Norwegian-American Historical Association is a treasure trove for scholars of Norwegian history. Housed on the beautiful St. Olaf campus, NAHA’a archives are open to the public by appointment and feature letters, papers, books, periodicals, photographs, diaries and newspapers related to Norwegian-American life and history.
 

Fireside Orchard & Garden

Located five miles west of Northfield on Highway 19, Fireside offers the finest apples and more.

Lorence’s Berry Farm
Located seven miles north of town, Lorence’s Berry Farm offers the freshest berries around.
 

Northfield Businesses

St Olaf College

One of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, St. Olaf College offers a distinctive education grounded in academic rigor, residential learning, global engagement, and a vibrant Lutheran faith tradition.
 

Many excellent colleges provide one, two, or even three elements of the St. Olaf experience. What makes St. Olaf unique is the combination of so many distinguishing features working together at the highest level: an intense academic program that sharpens minds and an emphasis on a global perspective that broadens them; the vitality of a residential community that engages thoughtful people across the full range of human experiences; and a faith tradition that encourages reflection and honors different perspectives.
 

By cultivating the habits of mind and heart that enable graduates to lead lives of financial independence, professional accomplishment, personal fulfillment, and community engagement, St. Olaf College provides an uncommon educational experience that fully prepares students to make a meaningful difference in a changing world.

 

Malt O Meal

The company was founded in 1919, as the Campbell Cereal Company by John Campbell, a miller in Owatonna, Minnesota. He invented a combination of malted and farina wheat, hot breakfast cereal he called Malt-O-Meal. Campbell intended to compete with Cream of Wheat.

In 1927, the company moved production of its cereal to the Ames Mill in Northfield, Minnesota. Nine years later, corporate headquarters were moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in 1953, it was renamed the Malt-O-Meal Company.
 

Attempts in the 1940s to market Campbell's Corn Flakes, and in the 1960s to sell State Fair brand Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice, were abandoned in the face of competition.

The company sponsors "Make it with Malt-O-Meal" State Fair Recipe Contests at the Oregon and Arizona State Fairs.
 

In 2002, Malt-O-Meal acquired the bagged cereal business from the Quaker Oats Company.In 2007, Malt-O-Meal took part in the "reverse product placement" marketing campaign for The Simpsons Movie and packaged one of their cereals, Tootie Frooties, as "Krusty-O's". The cereal was sold in 7-Eleven stores across America along with other The Simpsons Movie related products. In 2007, Malt-O-Meal began construction on their new manufacturing facility in Asheboro, North Carolina. The building, formerly occupied by Unilever Best Foods, became the fourth manufacturing facility for Malt-O-Meal. Operations at the plant began in late 2008.

In December 2009, Malt-O-Meal acquired the Farina brand of hot cereal from U.S. Mills. Farina was started by Pillsbury in 1898.
 

In February 21, 2012, the Malt-O-Meal Company re-branded as MOM Brands—the new name is intended to reflect the company's wider product range, while still acknowledging its flagship product through the use of its abbreviation. At the same time, it also announced that it had surpassed Post to become the third largest producer of cereals in the United States.

MOM Brands purchased the CoCo Wheats brand from Denny and Kim Fuller on June 30, 2012, while the rest of the company assets except the factory building were sold to Gilster-Mary Lee, a major competitor. The Fullers became the fourth generation to own and operate Little Crow in 1983.
 

October 11, 2013, MOM Brands announced a reduction in force that would impact approximately 100 employees. Voluntary separations were taken until October 18 and resulted in 35 people applying, but not all were approved. Remaining employees were notified beginning October 25, with 88 employees impacted.
 

On January 27, 2015, Post Holdings announced that it was purchasing MOM Brands for $1.15 billion ($1.05 billion cash and 2.5 million shares of Post Holdings stock). Post expects to complete the purchase in the third quarter of 2015. The sale was completed on May 4, 2015.

Multek
Multek is a top 10 global supplier of rigid and flexible printed circuits. With over 30 years of printed circuit board manufacturing experience, Multek offers industry-leading interconnect solutions, including Rigid, Flexible, Rigid-Flex printed circuit boards and Printed Electronics for a broad range of applications for a variety of markets.
 

History of Northfield

There are few Minnesota cities with the rich history of Northfield, and there are fewer still that have done such a wonderful job of preserving their historic treasures. You’ll see many examples of 1800s architecture throughout the community, and history buffs will especially enjoy the detailed exhibits and information at our Historical Society Musuem, colleges and historic downtown district.
 

In January 1855, John Wesley North set out from St. Anthony Falls, MN, to settle land recently ceded by the Dakota tribe. North chose the Cannon River valley because of the great potential for hydrologic power and abundant natural resources. He arrived at the site that would become Northfield with a few people, including his brother-in-law George Loomis. Loomis and North built a sawmill, then a gristmill and a bridge. When plotting Northfield, they ignored the river’s natural curvature and platted the town in 95 rigid blocks.
 

John and his wife, Ann Loomis North, attracted many like-minded people to Northfield. These were people who believed in women’s rights, temperance, the abolitionist movement, education and helping your fellow neighbor. The financial panic of 1857 brought the North’s to near financial ruin, and in 1859 the North’s good friend Charles Wheaton agreed to buy the North’s Northfield assets.
 

Wheaton produced flour at North’s gristmill for a few years, and then sold it to Jesse Ames and Sons. Ames enlarged the mill, and at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, he won the straight flour category for best flour in the United States.
 

In 1927, Jesse Ames’ son Adelbert Ames sold the mill to L.G. Campbell, and Northfield became the headquarters for the Campbell Cereal Co., which produced Malt-O-Meal cereal. The company moved its headquarters to Minneapolis, but kept its production facility in Northfield. Today, Malt-O-Meal still operates the Ames Mill, and Northfield is the only place in the world where its hot cereal is produced.
 

In 1856, the first school in Northfield was founded with 25 students reporting. In 1874, the Northfield independent school district was formed, and in 1877, the first graduating class consisted of seven girls and no boys.
 

Northfield College was founded in 1866 by the Minnesota Conference of Congregational Churches. Preparatory classes began in 1867, and in 1871 the college changed its name to honor a benefactor, William Carleton. At the time of his gift of $50,000 it was the largest gift to a college in the western United States. Today, Carleton’s enrollment is around 1,900 students.
 

The St. Olaf School was formed in 1874 by Rev. B.J. Muus, a Lutheran pastor; Harold Thorsen, a Northfield businessman; and three others. The original purpose of the school was to educate Norwegian immigrants, both men and women, to prepare them for life in the new country. The school was initially located in the public school buildings, and for a few years all of Northfield’s educational institutions were within three blocks of each other. College classes began in 1886, even though the college was not officially formed until 1889. Today, St. Olaf’s enrollment is around 3,000 students.
 

At roughly 2:00 p.m., September 7, 1876, eight men rode into town, intent on robbing the First National Bank of Northfield. It would later be called a textbook James-Younger bank robbery, and it began with three members of the gang entering the bank and announcing that it was a holdup. The three desperados ordered three bank employees to open the safe, but were told the vault was locked and couldn’t be opened.
 

On the street, local citizens began to arm themselves when a merchant discovered the robbery in progress. Upon their discovery, two gang members sprang to their horses and began shooting and yelling at the townspeople to leave the street. This forced the other three robbers into the fray. The first to fall was a Swedish immigrant named Nicholas Gustafson, who remained on the street because he did not understand English.
 

The battle lasted only seven minutes, but when it was over two robbers lay dead in the street and two more were badly wounded. Six outlaws fled south, and the largest manhunt at that time in U.S. history ensued. The Younger brothers were captured and Charlie Pitts was killed near Madelia, MN. Jesse and Frank James escaped the posse and made it to Missouri.

The heroes that day included J.S. Allen, A.R. Manning, Henry Wheeler and others. But the biggest hero was Joseph Lee Heywood, who died because he would not open the bank vault and betray the trust of the bank owners and his fellow Northfield citizens. It is the extraordinary courage of these townspeople that we honor on the weekend after Labor Day each year during Defeat of Jesse James Days.

 



 

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