Talks, lectures, presentations…call them what you will, but one thing is certain: I love to share what I know about history with others. I particularly enjoy spreading the word about James and Mary Hill and their lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota during the Gilded Age.

Three years as a tour guide at the James J. Hill House in St. Paul have contributed to my ability to make my talks as entertaining as they are informative. Over the years I have learned that a sense of humor can go a long way!

My knowledge of the Hill family archives provides the backdrop and inspiration for understanding the social history of the Gilded Age. I like to think of it as what they did and where they did it. I also speak on railroad history and the settlement of Minnesota.

Please contact me next time you need a professional, entertaining and informative talk. I enjoy speaking to church groups, at annual meetings and participating in workshops. I am honored to be an instructor for Osher Lifelong Learning. Adult learners are some of my biggest fans.

Recent talks…

  • “Mary T. Hill Philanthropy,” June 5, 2018. Luncheon speaking engagement to the American Association of University Women.
  • “The Legacy of James J. Hill,” February 27, 2018. Carlson School of Management.
  • “James J. Hill and Family,” August 2017. Sponsored by Ramsey County Historical Society, presented at the Ramsey County Library, Roseville.

Samples of my other lectures, tours, and classes

  • “Mary T. Hill and Her Daughters’ Gift to St. Mary’s Church,” November 27, 2016. Presented at the Saint Mary’s of the Lake 90th anniversary celebration. Arrangements for talk through White Bear Lake Historical Society.
  • “James J. & Mary T. Hill, A Legacy of Philanthropy,” May 2016. Presentation at the Annual Spring Dinner of the Hill Farm Historical Society addressed the wide-ranging philanthropic activities of the Gilded Age power couple. 
  • “James J. Hill, His Railroad and His Family,” July 2015. Getting personal, I look at the private lives of James Hill and his family. Sharing many images of wife Mary Hill and the children, their homes across the globe and the Great Northern Railroad. Presented at the Great Northern Railroad Historical Society (GNRHS) convention on July 21, 2015.
  • “James J. Hill Family of Saint Paul.” Course taught for Osher Lifelong Learning Program, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. (2005-2014).
  • “Diamond Jim”, April 2007. Presentation on the jewelry collection of James Hill, given to staff at James J. Hill House, Saint Paul, MN. (note: this was in conjunction with research done on sapphire bequeathed to Hill House and auctioned at Christie’s, New York).
  • “Hill Family Homes.” Public lecture presented September 16, 2004, at the James J. Hill House.
  • “In Her Own Name: Mary T. Hill’s Life After James J. Hill, 1916-1921.” Public lecture presented on November 10, 2003, at the James J. Hill House.
  • “Sustaining Great Northern Railway Country:  The James J. Hill Family Philanthropy.” Paper presented October 2, 2003, at Northern Great Plains History Conference, North Dakota University, Fargo, ND.
  • “Mary T. Hill: Life in Early Saint Paul 1850-1921.” Paper presented August 10, 2003, at Irish Fair, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
  • “The Catholic Philanthropic Activities of Mary T. Hill.” Paper presented on June 6, 2003, at American Conference for Irish Studies National Meeting, University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN.
  • “Saint Paul’s Early White Settlement on the Mississippi River,” July 2002. Walking tour.
  • “Early Minnesota, Early Railroads, Early Hills,” June 2001. Presentation to staff at James J. Hill House, Saint Paul, MN.
  • “Mary T. Hill and Early Saint Paul,” May 2000. Presentation at College of Saint Catherine, Saint Paul, MN.

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