Irish Heritage at the Hill House
Mary Theresa Mehegan's parents came from Ireland to the United States, eventually locating in St. Paul in 1850. At the age of 21 Mary wed James Jerome Hill, an up-and-coming young man of Scotch-Irish stock who had come to St. Paul from Rockwood, Ontario. The couple eventually had 10 children and achieved great financial success through Hill's transportation empire, the Great Northern Railway. Though proudly American, Mary retained attachments to Irish values and culture. A devout Catholic, she carefully oversaw her large family while often attending to the sick and needy of the city. She excelled in fine needlework and her knit lace is on display during the tour. Theme tours will include favorite Irish songs, organ music and needlework demonstrations. Stories of the Hills and their servants (many of them Irish) will engage visitors in the history of Irish-Americans in Minnesota.