Since its construction in 1868, the Scriver Building on Bridge Square has housed numerous businesses and has attracted countless visitors—including members of a nefarious gang. The two-story limestone structure was built by merchant Hiram…

The old City Hall and Fire House building was erected at 302 Division Street in 1876, the year of the attempted bank raid by the James-Younger gang. The building’s construction was part of an effort to transform the look of Division Street from…

The Northfield Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) building has served as a community gathering spot since its construction more than a century ago. The YMCA building at 304 Division Street opened to the public on December 10, 1885. It was…

The Northfield Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has anchored the southwest corner of Bridge Square for nearly eighty years. Its construction by the federal government generated controversy in the 1930s, and…

The Central Block, on the southeast corner of Fourth and Division Streets, is an excellent example of a historic building that has remained true to its original architecture and uses. It stands in a location that has played a central role in the life…

The State Bank building at the west end of the Fourth Street bridge is one of Northfield’s most distinctive buildings. Harry Wild Jones, the Minneapolis architect who designed it, said at its opening in 1910 that “another building just like it…

The area on the west bank of the Cannon River where the Ebel Block is located was once a thriving commercial district that contained dozens of stores and service businesses. But when automobile travel replaced passenger train travel in the 1950s,…

The history of a library in Northfield goes back to the winter of 1856, a year after the city’s founding, when a group of pioneer women organized a modest reading room in the schoolhouse at Third and Union Streets. The reading room contained a…

The Archer House is the oldest hotel in Northfield today, but it was not the first one built here. Earlier hotels had been wood-frame structures that were more like rooming houses. In 1877, James Archer, an innkeeper from Hastings, Minnesota,…

Bridge Square has always been a center of town activity. But it did not always look as it does now—with a fountain, a war memorial, and, in the summer, a popcorn wagon. For many years, the square was either a dusty or muddy expanse of dirt that…

The Ware Auditorium on the corner of Washington and Fourth Streets has been a hub of the Northfield entertainment scene for more than a century. Now known as the Grand Event Center, it was built in 1899 by A.K. Ware. Ware served as mayor from 1902 to…