James J. Hill House

James J. Hill House 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.

Main stairway carving.  #DailyDetails

Main stairway carving. #DailyDetails

Chair.  #DailyDetails

Chair. #DailyDetails

Doorbell.  #DailyDetails

Doorbell. #DailyDetails

Andiron.  #DailyDetails

Andiron. #DailyDetails

Exterior masonry.  #DailyDetails

Exterior masonry. #DailyDetails


A week ago, George Floyd was murdered. To the Floyd family, we express our heartfelt condolences. We share the deep hurt that our friends, family, and community are feeling in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death.

We know that these are historic times. But sadly, Minnesota’s history is marked by other incidences of racial violence. We know the names of Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, and now George Floyd, by heart. We should also know the names of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie. Two weeks from today, June 15, marks 100 years since a white mob in Duluth lynched these three black men who had been falsely accused of a crime.

Understanding history matters more than ever in times like these. It is a lens through which we view the experiences of others and empathize with their struggles and triumphs. It is a way that we build a deeper understanding of the events that brought us to the crossroads we find ourselves in today. It challenges us to demand better from our community, from our civic and cultural institutions and perhaps, most importantly, from ourselves.

History can be a bridge that lets us cross the divides that separates us. At the Minnesota Historical Society, we commit to using the power of history to help Minnesota become a more reflective, inclusive and empathetic community.

Kent Whitworth, MNHS Director and CEO

Burglar alarm switch.  #DailyDetailsThe James J. Hill House was equipped with a sophisticated electric burglar alarm. Th...

Burglar alarm switch. #DailyDetails

The James J. Hill House was equipped with a sophisticated electric burglar alarm. This switch, located in Mary Hill's bedroom, armed or disarmed the alarm attached to the door to Mary's terrace, allowing her to use the terrace after the alarm had been armed at 10:30 PM.

Overmantel.  #DailyDetails

Overmantel. #DailyDetails

Carved figurine.  #DailyDetails

Carved figurine. #DailyDetails

Bird carvings.  #DailyDetails

Bird carvings. #DailyDetails

Egg and dart molding and dentils.  #DailyDetails

Egg and dart molding and dentils. #DailyDetails

Rosette.  #DailyDetails

Rosette. #DailyDetails

Fireplace ornament.  #DailyDetails

Fireplace ornament. #DailyDetails

Acanthus leaf corbel.  #DailyDetails

Acanthus leaf corbel. #DailyDetails

Newell post finial.  #DailyDetails

Newell post finial. #DailyDetails

Bench arm.  #DailyDetails

Bench arm. #DailyDetails

Lincrusta Walton (a type of textured wallpaper).  #DailyDetails

Lincrusta Walton (a type of textured wallpaper). #DailyDetails

Dining Room chair.  #DailyDetails

Dining Room chair. #DailyDetails

Window sill.  #DailyDetails

Window sill. #DailyDetails

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Bach Trio Sonata No. 2- Mary Jo Gothmann, 10/8/18

While we are unable to offer our previously scheduled Hill House Chamber Players concert tonight, we hope you enjoy this performance, recorded October 8th, 2018.

Hill House Chamber Players member Mary Jo Gothmann plays the Hill House's original 1891 pipe organ in a lovely performance of J. S. Bach's "Trio Sonata No.2, 2nd Movement." Enjoy!

Lighting sconce.  #DailyDetails

Lighting sconce. #DailyDetails

Pilaster capital.  #DailyDetails

Pilaster capital. #DailyDetails

Explore the first floor of the James J. Hill House in 3D!  Scans by Jeremy Nienow. How many previous #DailyDetails can y...
Explore The James J. Hill House in 3D

Explore the first floor of the James J. Hill House in 3D!

Scans by Jeremy Nienow. How many previous #DailyDetails can you spot?

The National Historic Landmark, Gilded Age mansion of railway magnet James J. Hill, nestled in the heart of St. Paul's Summit Hill.

Main Hallway frieze.  #DailyDetails

Main Hallway frieze. #DailyDetails

Dining Room table.  #DailyDetails

Dining Room table. #DailyDetails

Ventilation grate.  #DailyDetails

Ventilation grate. #DailyDetails

Back grate, designed by Cass Gilbert.  #DailyDetails

Back grate, designed by Cass Gilbert. #DailyDetails

Fireplace.  #DailyDetails

Fireplace. #DailyDetails

Bookshelf column.  #DailyDetails

Bookshelf column. #DailyDetails

Exterior column.  #DailyDetails

Exterior column. #DailyDetails

Dimmer switches.  #DailyDetailsThe attic of the James J. Hill House was used for storage and as a play area for the Hill...

Dimmer switches. #DailyDetails

The attic of the James J. Hill House was used for storage and as a play area for the Hill children. Hill also had a proscenium theater stage built in the attic, complete with dressing rooms and a sophisticated electric lighting system, for the children to use for amateur theatrics. These dimmer switched controlled the lighting for the stage.

Organ pipes.  #DailyDetails

Organ pipes. #DailyDetails

Pilaster.  #DailyDetails

Pilaster. #DailyDetails


240 Summit Ave
Saint Paul, MN

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00


(651) 297-2555


Be the first to know and let us send you an email when James J. Hill House posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to James J. Hill House:



Nearby museums

Other History Museums in Saint Paul

Show All


This man was a great grandson of James J. Hill. RIP
My 3rd great grandfather Oliver Daunais born 1836 in sorel quebec, died 1916 in kenora. Worked for Mr. Hill. :)
Meh. 1% parasite.
Went on the 3:30 tour last Saturday the 18th. Beverly was our guide and did a fantastic job! She obviously loves the house and being a guide. Very engaging and funny. 😆😆
Thank you Jessica, for being so accommodating for the Master Servant shoot!
Thoroughly enjoyed a tour of James J Hill House on this rainy Saturday morning, led by a passionate and knowledgable young lady, Bethany. What a St Paul gem, check out their Nooks and Crannies tours!
I'll try to get some better pictures during our next visit!
BEAUTIFUL old coal gas lamps. Definitely one of the coolest ways to light a room.
There are only TWO shows left with pre-sale seats available: Thursday March 8th and Sunday March 18th! Get them while you can The rest of the run is SOLD OUT! Thank you for this overwhelming response, we hope you enjoy the show!