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“Enjoyable tour”
Review of James J Hill House

James J Hill House
Ranked #5 of 125 things to do in Saint Paul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Rugged stone, massive scale, fine detail and ingenious mechanical systems recall the powerful presence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway. Guides lead tours that help you imagine family and servant life in the Gilded Age mansion, the setting of the public and private lives of the Hill family. The James J. Hill House is a National Historic Landmark. The home also includes an art gallery, which features work from the Minnesota Historical Society's collections.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Very informative and interesting tour. Our guide was great. Some of the rooms were not open, but it was worth it to see what we did and the gardens are beautiful. Think fee was $7 and $5 for seniors.

1  Thank LolaBeach2524
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 - 313 of 400 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2013

Made reservations (Highly recommended as tours fill up fast) for Sunday August 4, 2013 at 1:30pm. We arrived a little early and walked up and down Summit Avenue (If you love old architecture, this street is one not to miss) to look at and take pictures of the beautiful homes as well as the Cathedral of St. Paul, surrounding the Hill Mansion. We tried to take a picture of the Hill property, but there is no way on ground level to get a picture of the entire house, you have to do it in sections, as it is massive.

Once we were inside the mansion and paid our $18.00 admission ($9.00 each) we were escorted to a room that was only used for Special Occasions (like Mr. Hill's funeral we later found out) and to the Art Gallery until our tour started. Russ was our tour guide and made it very enjoyable. Our 90 min. tour went well over 2 hours, as he took the time to explain and show us a lot more of the house than maybe we were suppose to see and hear. He was very knowledgeable about the family, home and era, because Russ was able to answer everybody's questions.

The Historical Society has done a fantastic job on preserving this house and I commend them for keeping it as original as they can. There isn't much furniture left in the house, but what is there, except for the art work in the Art Gallery belonged to the Hill's. Apparently the children and descendants still possess most of it. I liked the authenticity and lack of furniture as it gave you room to look at the carvings in the woodwork and fireplaces. I have been on tours of historical places where you were told, "This is not the actual furnishings but pieces that could have been." an instant turn-off for me and I feel a waste of money, but this tour is neither a waste of time or money.

Great home, Great history lesson on the life and times of the era, Great informative tour. I highly recommend you make reservations and do not miss this tour if and when you are in the Twin Cities.

1  Thank MALaehn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We visited the Hill Mansion to attend one of the historical society's special programs (Victorian Ghost stories) on a late October evening in 2012. The presentation was enjoyable for both us adults and our 10 & 13 year old children. We were able to enjoy a condensed tour of the house that evening which left us wanting to come back this summer for the Nooks & Crannies tour. Summit Avenue is packed with lots of other stunning homes which makes for an enjoyable walk through the area.

Thank Yankee_Doodle_Do
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This mansion is preserved and operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. It's a revealing look at life as lived by the affluent in the late 19th century. Very informative and interesting guided tours. Call to reserve a time for the tour.

Thank porthead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I was here on 07-25-13 after walking Summit Avenue to look at the old homes and looking inside St. Paul Cathedral which is across the street. The woodwork inside is amazing!!!! The technology in the home for 1891 was very cutting edge. There is a guided tour for $9 which is the only way to see the inside of the home other than three rooms that they will let you see on your own for $2. Definitely do the guided tour, the information provided and the amount of the house you get to see make it an exceptional value.

Thank Sunshinecop67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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