Thursday, July 22, 2010

James J. Hill Home

Last night I awoke to the sound of howling coyotes. Shortly after they had stopped their yipping rain started falling. This morning would prove to be quite wet. I packed up my wet tent and enjoyed a surprisingly pleasant hike along Afton State Park's Hiking Club Trail in a light drizzle. A highlight of the hike was traveling through a restored prairie. There were lots of different prairie plants to inspect including big bluestem, coneflower, butterflyweed, and lead plant.

After my hike I headed west and back into St Paul for a tour of the James J. Hill Home. What a spectacular place! The surrounding neighborhood is really interesting, filled with big old homes from a past era. No McMansions here! I even found a pair of pleasant little parks filled with gardens, statues, and a fountain.

I had some time to kill before the historic site opened and so I walked downtown to get some breakfast.

When I returned for the tour of the home, I was really impressed. Hill filled his house with rich mahogany wood paneling, ornately carved woodwork, stained glass,
Stained Glass
an art gallery, 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, and 16 crystal chandeliers.

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