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Jesse James Home Museum, Saint Joseph

#4 of 27 in Things to do in Saint Joseph
History Museum · Museum
The Jesse James Home Museum is the house in St. Joseph, Missouri where outlaw Jesse James was living and was gunned down on April 3, 1882, by Robert Ford. It is a one-story, Greek Revival style frame dwelling measuring 24 feet, 2 inches, wide and 30 feet, 4 inches, deep.
At the time, the house was located at 1318 Lafayette Street in St. Joseph. In 1939, it was moved to a busier Belt Highway location. In 1977, it was moved to a location directly behind Patee House at 12th and Mitchell in St. Joseph, only two blocks away from its original location, which restored more of its historic context.

The investigation into the shooting death of James was conducted at Patee House Hotel (formerly the World's Hotel). Mrs. James, her two children, and Jesse's mother stayed in Patee House for two nights after Jesse James was killed.

The house has a large bullet hole on the north interior wall. The hole was actually much smaller but over the years, souvenir hunters carved shavings from the hole and enlarged it.

The Jesse James Home contains a number of items owned by Jesse James and his family. In 1995, top forensic scientist Professor James E. Starrs, of George Washington University, conducted an exhumation of the grave of Jesse James to settle persistent controversy about the remains. In February 1996, he announced that DNA tests performed on the remains and compared to the DNA of existing known relatives proved a 99.7% reliability that the body in the grave was that of Jesse James. The museum includes new exhibits based on the 1995 exhumation, including artifacts such as coffin handles, bits of wood, and a pin Jesse James wore in his death photo, as well as numerous photos taken during the exhumation.

The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1980. It is a contributing resource to the Patee Town Historic District.
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239 reviews
  • This is a very small musuem- you are just touring his home he lived in when he was shot, but it was a neat piece of history. If nothing else just the furnishings of that era are neat to look at. They....  more »
  • Small venue by comparison but if this is the kind of history that you like then this is a must see. One of the more interesting outlaws from the old West for sure.  more »
  • Jesse James Museum his home did he was killed in seem to be missing a lot of the original artifacts As Told by the curator. He said between people stealing stuff in the past and items just not original but that they were doing the best they could with what they had. I would have felt better if you hadn't told me that I would have preferred that they were all original but it was a nice visit and I enjoyed the story that they told me during my visit they were very knowledgeable on that time. Probably isn't the best place to bring children cuz it is a very small home. I like to thank the staff for making it a great visit
  • Very neat for what it was. There was interesting history and low cost. Doesn't take long to go through.

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