This latest addition of 300+ images to the Collaborative collection of the Northfield News is a great illustration of why the Collaborative exists.

The News has thousands of photographs, in addition to (obviously) news clippings and 100+ years of newspapers, but someone researching Northfield history wouldn’t necessarily think to look there for photographs. A central, online database of local history resources helps researchers to know what they have.

(Side note: One other feature you’ll be seeing more of at the Collaborative is surveys and summaries of the collections of our partners. Here, you can check out a survey of the items held at the Northfield News.)

If you enjoy seeing scenes from old Northfield, it’s well worth the time to browse through this collection. They have so many fascinating images that I really don’t know where to start in highlighting them for you. I managed to narrow it down to my top 15, in no particular order.

1. Greenvale Park Elementary School under construction (aerial view)

2. Northfield High School post-construction (aerial view) – notice that this is before the D and M wings, and before the District Office

3. Northfield Retirement Center under construction (aerial view)

4. United Methodist Church under construction (aerial view) – notice the sparse homes looking to the north

5. South side of Bridge Square before the Post Office – the Scriver Building is just out of view at left

6. Gas station that stood where Post Office is now – notice the Central Block spire in the center back, and the roof of the Scriver Building at back right

7. Old Catholic church – the tiny sign on the post says “Linden St.”

8. Highway 3 meets Water and Third streets (aerial view) – this is after what’s now Highway 3 runs through the area, but before the current parking lot, so Water Street and Highway 3 kind of intersect at Second Street. Looks dangerous.

9. Looking down Third Street toward Basil’s – going even further back than the previous image, we see that Third Street was a busy area before buildings were knocked down for Highway 3 to be routed through

10. Northfield Fire Department with horses in front of what is now Anna’s Closet and The Contented Cow

11. Northfield Public Library, original section

12. Temperance Union parade float: ‘The Saloon Wants Your Boys – Is Your Boy Safe?’ – parade in the 400 block of Division Street, headed for Bridge Square

13. President Taft in Bridge Square – probably about 1908. The building behind him is Northfield National Bank, which stood where Neuger Communications is now.

14. Huge tents in Bridge Square – a carnival or circus. Notice the massive amount of space they cover. Also notice the old mill in the background on the bank of the river.

15. Troops march through Bridge Square in the 1910s, headed for Mexican border – I find this image moving. It makes these local men heading out for military service feel very real.