If you visit the log cabin at the Emmet County Historical Museum across South 18th Street from Iowa Lakes Community College, and listen close enough, maybe, just maybe, you'll hear the voices of Frank and Jesse James regaling their hosts over breakfast about their exploits.
That's but one of the many tales related in a documentary video now out on the James and Younger Gang. The video, Ride with James/Younger Game: Trail of Terror & Beyond 1866-1876 will be available at the museum later this summer.
Bruce Osborn of Cylinder, director and producer, said the video was in production for three years.
Mildred Bryan, Emmet County Historical Society president, with Bruce Osborn, producer and director of the documentary Ride with James/Younger Gang: Trail of Terror & Beyond 1866-1876.
Photo by Michael Tidemann
Osborn followed up on 25 years of research by the late John "Jack" Koblas, author and historian, who wrote 10 books. He and Koblas worked together on the project for three years before Koblas passed away a year ago.
In fact, nine people in the documentary have since passed on - all who told their life stories and the stories handed down over the generations about the James/Younger gang. Osborn said over 30 people have told their stories in the documentary.
The video starts in Missouri during the Civil War, narrated by Koblas. From there, it moves on to Adair where Pete Frey narrates the story of the train robbery there.
We also hear about the Northfield, Minn. raid, one of the most famous outlaw stories of the Old West, complete with a reenactment. The story then follows the escape route to Mankato, Minn. where the group split up.
It was at La Salle, Minn. where Charlie Pitts was killed and Bob, Jim and Cole Younger were captured with their trial following at Faribault, Minn.
Frank and Jesse James went southwest to Tanhassen, Minn. then on to Ceylon, Lamberton, Pipestone and Devils Gulch at Garretson, S.D.
"It's a story that no one's ever put together," said Osborn.
The two-disc documentary is also available by calling Movie Productions, LLC at (320) 241-7905 or Osborn at (712) 424-3804 or (320) 250-3025. Checks for $60 may also be sent to: Movie Productions, LLC, P.O. Box 111, Saint Joseph, MN 56374 or to Bruce Osborn, 3471 530th Ave., Cylinder, IA 50528.
Previews are available at movieproductionsllc.com