James J. Hill House Introduces New Sensory Tour for People with Memory Loss

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 13, 2014
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3141, megan.lawson@mnhs.org
Craig Johnson, James J. Hill House, 651-296-9396, craig.johnson@mnhs.org

Quick facts: 

Quick Facts
Event: Tours for People with Memory Loss
Place: James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul MN 55102
Dates: First Tuesday of every month, starting Sept. 2
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cost: FREE
Reservations: 651-259-3015
Email: hillhouse@mnhs.org
Website: http://www.mnhs.org/hillhouse

James J. Hill House Introduces New Sensory Tour for People with Memory Loss

As the nation's population ages, the number of people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia is expected to grow. The Minnesota Historical Society is in a unique position to offer sensory-based tours that can help enrich the lives of people suffering memory loss.

Beginning Sept. 2, the James J. Hill House will offer 45-minute guided tours designed to inspire guests to remember their own story, to think about their own past in new ways and to spark conversations with their loved ones.

Mrs. Hill.jpg

A guide, trained to work with people with memory loss and their caregivers, will draw on the guests personal lives to help them make connections. For example, the tour begins in a room with a painting of Mrs. Hill wearing a gown and pearls. The guide will pass around a string of pearls. As the guests handle the jewelry it might spark a memory in their own life, perhaps of their wedding day. As the group moves through each room, their confidence grows, increasing their sense of comfort. The tour finishes with a social time with coffee and cookies.

The tours will take place on the first Tuesday of every month, a time when the building is otherwise closed to the general public. The tours are free but reservations are required and can be made by calling 651-259-3015. The James J. Hill House is handicapped accessible. MNHS is a part of the the St. Paul Neighborhood's Action Community Team on Alzheimer's. MNHS hopes to expand the program to additional historic sites.

This program is funded, in part, by the Helen Bader Foundation.

About the James J. Hill House

Completed in 1891, the Gilded Age mansion was the residence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway, and his family. The home is located one-half block west of the Cathedral of St. Paul at 240 Summit Avenue. It is open for regular tours year-round, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sundays. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 651-297-2555.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.