James Bros. Escape - Lake Crystal  LbNA # 49665

Placed DateAug 12 2009
CountyBlue Earth
LocationLake Crystal, MN
Found By Gforce6
Last Found Dec 31 2011
Hike Distance?

This pure letterbox is part of a series that follows the routes the James/Younger Gang took after their ill-fated attempt to rob the Northfield First National Bank on Sept. 7, 1876.

After the narrow escape in the morning of the 14th, one week after the robbery attempt, the gang decided to split. The James bros. are in better shape physically, steal a horse, and around midnight dash through the pickets on a road near the shore of Lake Crystal, where both are wounded (Jesse in the knee, Frank in the foot) and blasted off the horse. The pickets follow the horse. Jesse and Frank creep though the corn fields in the dark, steal more horses and ride through Watowan, Cottonwood, Nobles and Rock counties occasionally encountering and outrunning posses. They exit into Dakota Territory on the 17th. From there they head way south and eventually east to Nashville TN where they lie low for three years. The Youngers and Pitts have trudged on toward the west and their destiny in the woods and swamps.

Directions to the letterbox: On a peninsula in Lake Crystal in Lake Crystal east of Highway 60. Go almost as far east on the peninsula as possible until you find a marker with Jesse's last name on it among a lot of markers with his alias on them. Hint: rhymes with coward. From those, go straight north as far as you can (about 50 feet) to a large oak tree on a bank. In the bank under the oak you'll find the letterbox.