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“The whole family enjoyed”

Jesse James Birthplace Museum
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Kearney
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Independence, Missouri
Level Contributor
128 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“The whole family enjoyed”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

The tour and artifacts at the Farm/Museum are very interesting. There is some walking to do on the property so make sure you are ready for that. We have taken visitors here and everyone has always enjoyed the visit to the JJ Farm/Museum. The guides are excellent and can answer most questions quickly and accurately.

Thank royalmay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Temple Hills, Maryland
Level Contributor
226 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“James Farm”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Very cool when you step into the first room of the house. A must for outlaw/crime history fans. Staff was very welcoming and informative. Lots of James family items in the musuem and house.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank jedivader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Superb side-trip for genuine Americana”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

DO stop in Kearney and visit the museum and James house. Authentic James family furniture, clothing, fixtures and documents, and a matchless presentation of the house, with the earliest 1822 cabin and later addition beautifully maintained in spartan, visually unchanged condition (although Clay County has done a lot of repair work and maintains things in beautiful condition).

This is the real thing - not a commercialized pastiche. And it's likely to be the only place in a Union state where you'll hear a near-apologia for the bushwackers and bank robbers for which the James family became famous and infamous. An excellent contextualization of an American legend.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank K M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merrillville, Indiana
Level Contributor
190 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 298 helpful votes
“Great place to enjoy history”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

My visit to the Jesse James Farm and House was enjoyable. They showed a good film about the James Family which gave me plenty of information, some of which I didn't know. I learned that Frank James, Jesse's brother, was a bodyguard for President Roosevelt. I enjoyed the tour of the home. It's interesting to see the old furniture back in the day. A tour guide gave excellent interpretation of the home and much more. There is a head stone by the house where Jesse James was buried. The current Jesse James gravesite is in downtown Kearney. There is a gift shop on site with plenty of souvenirs. Nice place to visit and close to Kansas City.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank birdlady07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Braymer, MO
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great history lesson”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Tucked away in the country. This farm, and museum is a must see. It is interesting to see a slave cabin, and an outhouse. Living was primitive in those days

Thank Amy I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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