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Jesse James Birthplace Museum

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Address: 21216 Jesse James Farm Rd, Kearney, MO 64060-9343
Phone Number:
+1 816-736-8500
12:00 - 16:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 12:00 - 16:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

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 108 reviews
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Stumbling Into History

While on a trip to Iowa I noticed a sign Jesse James birthplace. Being a history sponge I had to stop and check it out. The guide and rest of the staff were very kind and answered... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Eldridge H

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108 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 108: English reviews
1 review
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

While on a trip to Iowa I noticed a sign Jesse James birthplace. Being a history sponge I had to stop and check it out. The guide and rest of the staff were very kind and answered all of our questions. The artifact collection is a trip in time and was very interesting. My son and I would recommend this... More 

Thank Eldridge H
Scarsdale, New York
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2017 via mobile

We were unable to do the tour because we just dropped in and it was so lovely. The staff there was so kind and gave us as much info as they could and we were able to see the outside of the house. I imagine the tour is very informative. The pride in the site was incredible.

Thank Jesse T
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2017 via mobile

The site features a small museum with authentic artifacts owned by Jesse James and various other family members. The film depicted the hardships of people living in the nineteenth century. The home has not been renovated and is an authentic view of the nineteenth century lifestyle.

Thank liljodo
Kearney, Missouri
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviewed 11 January 2017 via mobile

While we have watch movies on the James brothers hearing the true story, seeing the artifacts, and walking the grounds gives a whole new perspective as to why 2 young men could do the things they did. Times can influence actions.

Thank Verlee G
Goodhue, MN
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2016

I'd highly recommend knowing some history on Jesse James and his ties to this area, which could be done with a few simple web searches. You're taken on a short tour through the house with a person providing some of the history. There's also some displays with memorabilia and clothing worn by James and his gang. It's a nice thing... More 

Thank mnvetguy
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
84 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2016

It you like anything about Old West history or gunslingers, this is a must. Farm where Jesse James grew up .Authentic place, House has preservation boards on, but they leave open a section so you can see the actual materials. The museum has a lot of stuff of Jesse James actual stuff, guns, boots, etc. There is also a movie... More 

1 Thank stlxer
Springfield, MO
Level Contributor
90 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2016

There are more books and movies about Jesse James than any other western outlaw (Billy the Kid is a close second). I took the tour during a road trip with my son. We found the staff to be very informative and it was great to see and walk on the actual ground the family owned and lived on. Anyone that... More 

Thank dwm_SGF_1987
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2016

I came out to western Missouri specifically to visit historical sites associated with the James gang and was not disappointed. I found the museum and tour of the old James home fascinating. There is a short film they show to give you an overview and then you can browse the museum that includes lots of family artifacts and things to... More 

Apple Valley, California
Level Contributor
152 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2016

We were in KC on a Monday and had the day all planned out, only to find our visits were all closed on Mondays. Looking for something to do, we saw an article that said this place was a "Must See" attraction. And they were right. The price was just $8.50, $7.50 with our AAA card. for that nominal price,... More 

1 Thank 3Bagger
Warrensburg, Missouri
Level Contributor
37 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2016

If you like history you will like to learn more about the James family. This is a small museum but pleasantly surprising.

Thank 726barbarae

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