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James J Hill House

240 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
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Ranked #7 of 63 attractions in Saint Paul
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Traveler Description: The James J. Hill Mansion is a rugged stone, massive scale, fine detail, and ingenious mechanical systems recall the powerful presence of James J... more »
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127 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
24 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW via mobile

James J Hill was a fascinating entrepreneur who built railroads and a whole lot else, then like Carnegie, became a prominent philanthropist later in life. This mansion offers a brilliantly interesting 75 minute tour (we had the excellent Chari for ours) and things for kids too. Hill had a passion for art - especially Corot - and many of this... More

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Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
55 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

I've visited many historical homes before in the Eastern US and in Europe, and this home of a Midwestern railroad baron was a somewhat new experience. Our guide was quite good, and seeing "modern" conveniences was interesting. The furniture in the upstairs rooms was limited, but the main level was fully furnished. Small but ample bookshop.

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Gresham, OR
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

Built by a railroading robber baron from the late 1800's, this magnificent mansion is an excellent example of how such men would immortalize their work and importance. Built for his family in 1891, the building is now owned and operated by the local historical society. Tours are run every half hour. Low admission for a 90 minute tour with great... More

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Orlando, FL
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
40 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

The house features fabulous architecture, outstanding planning, and terrific technology (for its time). For me, it was reminiscent of "Downtown Abbey" with its downstairs servant quarters and its delightful details and masterful craftsmanship. The tour added great insight to the daily life of the times and photos from its heyday provided an authentic touch. We enjoyed it so much that... More

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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

This house was seriously just amazing, and the tour was excellent. We got there two minutes late, and the tour had already started, but the receptionist still got us in because we had reservations. The tour guide was knowledgeable and informative and was able to take any question. She was also very good with the kids on the tour, who... More

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Saint Paul, Minnesota
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Tour a stately and historic mansion on St. Paul's famous Summit Avenue. Don't be surprised if you spot a ghost in the dark recesses of this spectacular and enormous home.

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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

This is a nice way to see turn of the century wealth and learn a little Minnesota history. But the architecture and such is not particularly impressive or notable.

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Portland, Oregon
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

This is the house of the man who built the Great Northern Railway. It is located on gorgeous Summit Ave, opposite from St Mary's Basilica. The modern features of this house and the master craftsmanship were very impressive. What I liked very much was that any furniture on display belonged to the family. Because of this, most of the rooms... More

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Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
21 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

The Hill house is indeed lavish and very interesting, and the tour guides do an excellent job of storytelling. Highly recommended! Hill was one of the wealthiest and most powerful businessmen of his time, but many of us aren't aware of him because he didn't put his name on his wealth, unlike his contemporaries -- Carnegie, Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan,... More

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Belvidere, Illinois
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

A beautiful old mansion…sparsely furnished, but the historical society is trying to only use original furnishings. Pieces are coming back here and there. We were lucky enough to have a great guide as well as an organist to play for us during our tour! It was such a treat. Very interesting to see how the the very wealthy of the... More

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