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Century-old Annandale House welcomes visitors for Christmas tradition tours

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WATCH ABOVE: The Annandale is sometimes referred to as “The Christmas House” in Lethbridge. The century-old home sits right in the heart of the city, and has quite the colourful history. Erik Mikkelsen reports – Dec 15, 2016

The Annandale House, often referred to as the Christmas House, has stood proudly on the corner of 13 Street and 4 Avenue South for 107 years. For the last 38 years, it’s been the home of Diane and Garfield Bland.

“I walked her in the front door and she looked at the [staircase]. It’s a nice feature, but it was in bad shape,” Garfield said. “It was missing a bunch of spindles and one handrail, too.

“But, she just looked up at that and said, ‘yes we will take it,’ and that was it!”

The Annandale House pictured in 1909 when it was built by L.M. Johnstone. Galt Museum & Archives

The home, built in 1909, has lived through two world wars, survived the Great Depression and seen 17 prime ministers in parliament.

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It was built by Lewis Martin Johnstone, a well-known lawyer who founded Huckvale & Company, a local law firm still open today.

Over the years, the home has passed through many hands, including the Ross family. Walter “Stubb” Ross, the founder of Lethbridge airline Time Airways, grew up in the home.

The Annandale is now a Christmas tradition in southern Alberta. Garfield and Diane have been decorating the home for the past 25 years and offering tours to the neighbourhood residents.

“Why I still do it the part that worries me the most,” Garfield said.

“In all actuality, I mean, how can I continue to do this? I’m not exactly a kid anymore!”

The home is decked from top to bottom with decorations collected over the years. It all started with a string of lights on the roof, a feat Garfield was proud to show his mother.

“I said, ‘look at my lights mom,’ and she looked up there and said, ‘did you do that?’ and I said, ‘Well yeah I did.’

That promise, however, was short-lived and the ChrCentury-old Annandale House welcomes visitors for Christmas tradition toursistmas tradition has continued for the past 25 years.

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