September Tours at the James J. Hill House Provide Unique View of Minnesota's Gilded Age and Literary History

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 6, 2014
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Craig Johnson • James J. Hill House • 651-296-9396 •

Quick facts: 

Place: James J. Hill House
Address: 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul MN 55102
Phone: 651-297-2555

September Tours at the James J. Hill House Provide Unique View of Minnesota's Gilded Age and Literary History

The season for walking tours is coming to a close this September with two great options at the James J. Hill House. Guests can take the popular Summit Avenue Walking Tour and try the F. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tour.

Tours cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, and $8 for children ages 6 to 17. MNHS members recieve a $2 discount. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 651-259-3015 or by registering online.

Walking ToursSummit Avenue Walking Tours
Date: Saturdays and Sundays, May through September
Time: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays

Take a 90-minute waking tour of the Summit Avenue neighborhood, famed for its many Victorian homes. Guides will talk about the Gilded-Age mansions that line the street and the people who owned them. They will discuss the architecture, social history and current preservation issues of the historic neighborhood.

Fitzgerald Walking ToursF. Scott Fitzgerald Walking Tours
Date: Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21
Time: 1 and 3 p.m.

Take a 75-minute walking tour of the neighborhood where F. Scott Fitzgerald spent his youth. Born on Sept. 24, 1896, Fitzgerald would go on to become one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. The tour includes stops at the historic Commodore Hotel at 79 Western Ave, where Fitzgerald lived with his wife Zelda; 599 Summit Ave., where Fitzgerald wrote his first novel, "This Side of Paradise"; and his birthplace at 481 Laurel Ave. Stops do not include interiors. Participants will learn about Fitzgerald's early years, his turbulent relationship with Zelda, the impact of St. Paul on his stories and novels, and his connections to St. Paul royalty, including the Hill family and other neighbors. Guides will also discuss the significance of this neighborhood to other famed authors including Sinclair Lewis, Garrison Keillor, Patricia Hampl and August Wilson.

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 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.