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Jesse James Farm and Museum

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Address: 21216 James Farm Rd., Kearney, MO 64060
Phone Number: 816-736-8500
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Jesse James, son of a Baptist minister, was born at the family home in...

Jesse James, son of a Baptist minister, was born at the family home in Kearney, Missouri, in 1847. Barely 16, he followed his older brother, Frank, into the Civil War. While Frank was a member of Quantrill’s guerillas, Jesse rode with Bloody Bill Anderson. When the war ended, Jesse returned home and joined other former Confederate guerillas in a life of outlawry. Jesse’s boldness and flamboyance as a bank and train robber, combined with sensational publicity from newspapers and dime novels, soon made his a household name. A tour through the restored home will take visitors back to where the legend began. Before walking the trail to the farmhouse, a twenty minute movie recaps the history of Frank and Jesse James and exploits of the outlaws. The museum displays the world’s largest collection of James family artifacts. Jesse’s boots and Frank’s surrender letter tend to captivate visitors. Guests then follow the paved winding trail to the farmhouse and walk along the creek where, as young boys, Frank and Jesse spent much of their time playing. In the yard of the family home is Jesse’s original burial site, the place where his mother once sold souvenir rocks from his grave for twenty five cents. Upon completion of the tour guests will want to browse the museum's gift shop. A wide variety of books relating to the period are available as well as t-shirts, mugs, and many other souvenir keepsakes. The Jesse James Farm and Museum is owned and operated by the Department of Clay County Parks, Recreation, Historic Sites and Tourism.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 83 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 43
  • 28
    Very good
  • 9
  • 2
  • 1
History at its best!

Come and learn all about the James family. The short 20 minute film is enlightening and this place is a must see when in the area.

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Kansas City, Missouri
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83 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
47 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Come and learn all about the James family. The short 20 minute film is enlightening and this place is a must see when in the area.

Thank GrumpyJoes
Albuquerque, Nm
Level Contributor
184 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have to admit that I wasn't excited about going to this museum but one of my travel companions wanted to visit here so we did. I'm so glad we made the trip. It was really educational and interesting. The museum houses an impressive amount of memorabilia from the era. The tour of the farm house really brought things to... More 

1 Thank lyrix428
Kansas City
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2015

The Jesse James Farm and Museum, northeast of Kearney, MO, should be a "must see" for anyone traveling on I-35 north of Kansas City. Your visit starts with a 20-minute film that explains how farm families in this part of Missouri with southern roots suffered in the years leading to the Civil War. The James family, slave-owners from Kentucky, found... More 

Thank Kenneth W
Campton, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
71 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2015 via mobile

Beautiful, educational, awe-inspiring. I can not say anything bad about this visit. You start your tour with a movie, which I was dreading, because many movies are just a yawn-fest. However, this one kept me riveted and I even learned a few things. The employees were great! I would definitely return if I was in the area.

1 Thank ChristineNH
West Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2015

There's not a lot to the Jesse James Farm and Museum, but that's what I like about this place. When you arrive, you're directed to watch a short film about Jesse and the James' family. If you dig history, this is good stuff. After the film, you go to the farmhouse. My wife and I were the only ones there... More 

Thank THVolpone
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
139 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2015

We drove out to the Jesse James farm and museum, and were not disappointed. The museum is small, but has a lot of items from Jesse James' life. From clothes to his own guns, the museum has everything you could think of. We took the tour of the actual farm house he grew up and lived in. The tour guide... More 

Thank RealSaskTraveller
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2015 via mobile

We stayed at Excelsior Springs and checked Trip Advisor for things to do near by and found this. It gives you more insight to the life of legends Jesse & Frank James but also to their entire family and how they all lived. If you're in the area, don't pass this by.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2015 via mobile

While on my way home from a business trip in Kansas City, I saw the sign on the highway for this museum. Of course, I had to stop. I had no special expectations upon arrival. I was pleasantly surprised by the unique, authentic artifact collection on display. There are things there that you will truly see nowhere else, like the... More 

Thank london_liebe
Lexington, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2015

The Jesse James Farm and Museum is something anyone visiting Missouri would not want to miss. The brothers Jesse and Frank James were known for their outlaw exploits of 16 years. But most don't realize they fought as guerrillas during the Civil War, that their father was a scholarly minister and that everything they did was politically motivated. Considered early... More 

Thank Elizabeth J
Corbin, Kentucky
Level Contributor
74 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2015 via mobile

This house was by far the highlight of our Jesse James weekend! I really wish we could have taken pictures inside tho. Hearing the history of the James' and their home was very interesting. I think I even captured a 'spook' or two watching us from the windows!!!

Thank hrtaylor23

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