Jesse James Birthplace
Visit Jesse James BirthplacePlan Your Visit
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 guerrillas, Jesse rode with Bloody Bill Anderson. Jesse’s boldness and flamboyance as a bank and train robber, combined with sensational publicity from newspapers and dime novels, soon made his name a household word.
A tour through the authentically preserved home will take visitors back in history where the legend began.
Before walking the trail to the James farmhouse, a noteworthy audio-visual presentation recaps the history of Frank and Jesse James and the exploits of the James’ band of outlaws. In the gallery, the world’s largest collection of James family artifacts is on public display. Items such as Jesse’s boots, spurs, and personal letters captivate visitors as they wander through. The trail to the farmhouse passes the picturesque stream where Jesse and Frank spent many a summer day in their childhood swimming hole. As guests stroll by, they will see the natural beauty of the James Farm surroundings. Near the backdoor of the family home is Jesse’s original grave site, the place where his mother once sold souvenir stones from his grave.
Following the tour, visitors will want to browse the gift shop. A wide variety of period style keepsakes, mementos, and souvenirs are available as well as a selection of historical books and musical collections.
Memorial Day–Labor Day: Open seven days a week, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Remainder of the year: Monday–Saturday from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Sunday from 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter.
The last guided tour of the day is at 4:00 pm.