Death of the Empire Builder
James J. Hill, known as the “Empire Builder” for his work building a network of rail and shipping lines from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean, died in his Summit Avenue home on May 29, 1916, at age 77. Hill left behind a personal fortune of $63 million. As one of the wealthiest and most powerful figures of America’s Gilded Age, Hill embodied the era of Manifest Destiny. Tours will emphasize Hill’s career and the public’s reaction to his death. Guests can view displays of photographs and newspaper articles, and a small selection of memorial volumes, including one given to the family by the Great Northern Railway, created by Tiffany and Company. Guest organists will play music used at the Hill funeral which was held at the house in 1916.