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December 10, 2017 - We were in Riverside today to see the Heritage House, which was having their annual Victorian Christmas Open House.  This flamboyant Queen Anne Victorian mansion was built in 1891 by Mrs. Catharine Bettner, widow of James Bettner, an eminent citizen of the city.  The Bettners originally lived in New York.  James Bettner, a lawyer and civil engineer, suffered from a kidney ailment and moved to southern California, owing to its healthy climate.  Unfortunately, James died at the age of 45, in 1888 and in 1891, the younger son of the couple died of tuberculosis.  It is believed that Catherine built this new house thereafter to forget the sorrows related with their old home.  The annual open house lets visitors experience the spirit of a traditional Victorian Christmas one would have seen in the 1890s.

It was crowded, but everyone kept moving nicely.

The volunteers' costumes were fabulous.

It was a great event.

The open house didn't start until noon so we decided to give Blaze Pizza a try beforehand.  We split their "Art Lover" pizza made on a very thin crust with artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, chopped garlic, and red sauce dollops.  It was delicious and we knew we'd return again.  It was another great day.

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Last modified: January 01, 2023