Archived Story

Alden to hold annual Christmas Tour of Homes

Published 4:00pm Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Alden Christmas Tour of Homes, a fundraiser for Morin Lake Days, will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29.

Tickets are $10 per person. Tickets are being sold at American Bank, the Alden city office, Accents and at the Alden Advance office, all in Alden, and at Doyle’s Hallmark in Albert Lea.

The tour includes five homes.

Jon and JoAnn Behle

106 Hall Lane

The Behles have been in their home since March of this year. The woodwork throughout the home is dark oak.

Just off the main entrance is the master bedroom, including a master bath with oversized tub and walk-in ceramic shower.

The kitchen includes an island. Upper cupboards feature many antiques the Behles have collected.

The wall that showcases the dining and living room is painted paprika. JoAnn fields lots of questions about what color it is.

In the office is a desk that came from the old Jack Spratt store in Albert Lea and was acquired by JoAnn’s father, Norm Bonnerup.

The basement has a wet bar and many of Jon’s collectible toy tractors. There is an open area for the grandchildren to play in. Another antique on this level is an old display fixture from the Glenville Hardware Store, which JoAnn has refurbished.

Doug and Julie Morrison

67923 275th St. (County Road 29)

The family room in the Morrison home shows Doug’s display of hunting and fishing endeavors. There’s a Christmas tree with red berries and cardinals. There is a stained-glass piece designed by Doug and artist Meredith Armstrong. The 70-year-old round oak table belonged to Julie’s parents and the captain’s chair to her grandfather.

The kitchen, dining and living rooms are decorated with purple, green, wine and grapes. The dining room table came from Norway about 150 years ago. Above the piano is a violin played by Julie’s dad at many house parties.

The three-season porch has also been decorated for the holidays, right down to the chair covers.

Trent and Trevor Nelson

162 Second Ave.

Trent Nelson’s home was built in 1959 and includes many of its original features throughout. It’s a bachelor pad, with beer decor in the breezeway attached to the house.

The kitchen, which has a Formica table and chairs, has a retro car theme, checker board floor and original sink with drain board.

The rest of the home shows off the original maple floors. The living room has a lodge look with vintage wool blankets used to make curtains and the tree skirt. Evidence of Trent’s fishing success is also apparent here.

The bathroom has its original green and black tile. The master bedroom displays a collection of souvenirs from Trent’s trip to New York.

Trent, 19, suffered a stroke following a car accident five years ago. He has worked hard to live independently of his parents, who live two houses away. He looks forward to the return of his brother, Trevor, from his tour in Iraq.

Dan and Sue Reindal

20522 650th Ave.

There is lots of color in the Reindal home. Built in 1964, Sue has used vibrant hues in many rooms in the place the family has called home since 1997.

A quilted wall hanging made by Dan’s mother, Verneta, hangs in the entrance, and in the living room is a large crocheted piece featuring the Lord’s Prayer. It, and all the red doilies, were made by Sue’s grandmother, Emma Petersen, at age 95.

There are also many Dickens houses and Snow Babies.

Built-ins are features in many of the rooms and the family makes use of them all. For example, there’s a nook off the kitchen that holds a desk area.

The Reindals took out some cupboards between the kitchen and dining room to lend a more open feeling.

In the basement, visitors will find Dan’s toy IH collection and his many watch fobs in display cases.

Steve and Cheryl Newman

171 Second Ave.

Cheryl Newman collects antiques and other “old stuff.” She has many heirlooms from her family as well as Steve’s. In the living room, an old library table, built by Steve’s grandfather, has been cut down to be a used as a coffee table.

The floors on the main level have been exposed to their natural state. Hobnail pink Depression glass dishes are on the table and more pink dishes can be seen in the china hutch and top open cupboards.

One of the basement bedrooms has a ski resort theme. There is also a coat tree adorned with antique hats and stoles in the basement.

There are two family rooms on the main level. In one is a piano that belonged to Cheryl’s Grandpa Gabriel and was once played by Lawrence Welk as he traveled through Northwood, Iowa. In the china hutch is a plate acquired on the trip to northern Minnesota that has a picture of Alden Lake on it. It was put out by the Svendsen-Hansen Hardware Store.

Be sure to look for a tree in every room.

Organizers ask that there be no children under 12 years on the tour. People will be asked to remove their shoes and carry them in a bag provided by the tour hosts.

Also going on in Alden that weekend will be an old-fashioned “Yuletime Celebration.”

On Saturday, there will be lunch with Santa and a home-based business show, featuring a table and tree decorating in the new addition to the school.

There will be a chili cookoff and lighted parade in the evening.

On Sunday morning, there will be a breakfast at the school.