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You can help City Council protect Red Deer’s historic “Parsons House”



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  • The beautiful two story brick home has graced the downtown corner of 49 Street and 48 Avenue for 115  years.  It’s become well known as The Parsons House, named after Dr. Richard Parsons, the home’s third owner.  For the last number of years Parsons House has been home of the legal firm Lee Inglis Albrecht.  But the property and surrounding area have been purchased for construction of Red Deer’s new Justice Centre.  The Parsons House has been designated an historic resource but that in itself may not guarantee it’s future.   For long term viability, the home will likely have to be worked into the design for Red Deer’s new court house.

    The Parsons House, c. 1980. Red Deer Archives

    It’s no surprise this cause is important to Red Deer City Councilor and former city archivist Michael Dawe.  Dawe says there are many examples across Western Canada of historical structures being incorporated into the designs of new buildings.  Dawe offers this short history of the home.

    The Parsons House was built in 1903 on the south west corner of Mann (49) Street and Nanton (48) Avenue by Thomas Goard. He owned the Red Deer Music Company, one of the community’s very first music stores. His descendants still live in Central Alberta.
    In 1904, the house was purchased by Edward and Mary Michener. Edward was mayor of Red Deer and later M.L.A. He was also later the leader of the Conservative Party in Alberta. Edward and Mary’s son Roland became Governor General of Canada in 1967.
    In 1905, the Micheners started to build a large new house on the brow of the East Hill (now known as the Michener Hill subdivision). They sold the brick  house to Dr. Richard Parsons and his wife Ella. Dr. Parsons had moved to Red Deer in 1903 in anticipation of the opening of the Red Deer Memorial Hospital. He and Ella got married just before they purchased this new home.
    In 1912, Dr. Parsons decided to build a large annex on the southside of the house for his medical clinic. The annex not only included an office and examination rooms, but also a laboratory and one of Alberta’s first x-ray machines.
    Ella passed away in 1918 during the Spanish flu epidemic, leaving Richard as a single parent with four young children.

    Dr. Richard Parsons, with his four children Margo, Ella, Bill and MacGregor. 1919. The young person on the left is unidentified. Photo from the Parsons family.

    In 1920, he re-married, to Annie Forbes who had been a matron at the Red Deer Hospital.
    Dr.  Richard Parsons passed away in 1944. Annie continued to live in the house until her passing in 1983.

    The Parsons House, c. 1944. Photo courtesy of the Parsons family.

    For a few years, The house was used as the offices of the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre.
    It was later acquired by the legal firm of Lee and Short who renovated it into their firm’s offices.
    In 1990, the house was designated a Registered Historic Resource.
    In 2018, the house/law office was purchased by the Province as part of the assemblage of a new site for a new Red Deer Justice Centre (Court House).

    Parsons House, 1915 (in the foreground are soldiers of the 12th Canadian Mounted Rifles who were training prior to departure for service overseas in the First World War. Red Deer Archives

    Red Deer City Council has passed a proposed memorandum of agreement with the Province that will ensure the Parsons House is preserved when the new Justice Centre is built.  If you’d like to support this agreement to preserve this piece of Red Deer’s history,  consider sending an email to one of Red Deer’s two MLA’s and to the City saying you support the agreement with the Province.

    Email addresses:

    Red Deer North MLA Kim Schreiner –

    Red Deer South MLA Barb Miller –

    City Clerk’s office –

    Special appreciation to Michael Dawe for help with this post.

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    Rustlers back in the win column… 5 and 0 at Penhold Multiplex



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  • Photos Courtesy Dennis Berg

    From the Red Deer Senior AA Rustlers


    The Senior Rustlers hand Morinville Kings first regulation loss of season

    The Red Deer Senior Rustlers are back in the win column following a 3-2 win over the NCHL-leading Morinville Kings on Saturday, becoming the first team to do so in regulation this season.

    Coming off a narrow 4-3 loss to the Kings on November 24, the Rustlers came out of the gate with a three-goal first period, with two goals from Connor Patchett and another from Ty Berkholtz. Berkholtz added an assist on both Patchett goals to finish the game with three points, giving him the team lead with 14 points on the season.

    Brett Bothwell

    The Kings finally solved Rustlers netminder Brett Bothwell late in the second period, and would add another with a two-man advantage in the third, but the Rustlers shut the door the rest of the way to preserve the win.

    Special teams were the difference maker for the Rustlers, who went 2-for-5 on the powerplay, and an impressive 7-for-8 on the penalty kill, including a big five-on-three kill in the opening minutes of the game.

    “This was a huge win for us, both in the standings, and mentally,” said Bothwell, who made 30 saves for his fourth win of the season. “We’ve faced some adversity over the past month, but tonight was an opportunity to bounce back and make a big statement against one of, if not the top team in the league, and we did just that.”

    The Senior Rustlers improve to 7-3 on the season, and stayed perfect at home with their fifth straight win at the Penhold Multiplex.

    The Rustlers are back home for the last time in 2018 on Saturday, December 15 for another important match-up against the Eckville Eagles, who also sit near the top of the NCHL standings. Game time is 7:30pm. The 2018 portion of the season closes out in Sylvan Lake on Friday, December 21 against the Pirates.

    For more information on the Red Deer Senior Rustlers, contact, or follow the team on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


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    Christmas Bureau Delivers A Hamper Full of Celebration to 1000 Red Deer Families



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  • If there’s one place in Red Deer that best resembles Santa’s Workshop it has to be the Christmas Bureau. Many weeks before the big day the donations start to arrive.  Christmas gifts, food, and money will all be donated… stored, sorted, displayed… and parcelled up for their trip to over one thousand homes in the area.  They say the Christmas Bureau helps at least one family on every street in town.

    As you might imagine the days before Christmas can be quite hectic as everything comes together at once.  All the gifts are dispersed through the city to be wrapped and stored under Christmas trees waiting for this special morning.  All the food and goodies are sorted and placed in over 1000 boxes.  Then with a real sense of excitement and urgency, hundreds of people file politely into the Red Deer Christmas Bureau.  For two straight days over 500 Christmas Food hampers are presented to deserving families who’ve arrived to pick them up.

    Thousands of Central Albertans support the Red Deer Christmas Bureau in a variety of manners.  Red Deer… this is the result of your generosity, your time, and your love for your neighbours.  Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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    december, 2018

    wed21nov - 21decAll DayAlberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum - Deck the Hall 31 Days of Giving-31 Days of giving(All Day) Event Organized By: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

    sat15dec10:00 am- 4:00 pmParkland Garden Centre Craft and Market Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    sat15dec12:00 pm- 6:00 pmArtisan Market Sale for Nuit Blanche Winter CarnivalArtisan Market12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    sat22dec10:00 am- 4:00 pmParkland Garden Centre Craft and Market Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    mon31dec - 1jandec 317:00 pmjan 1- 2:00 amBlack & White ballRed Deer\'s Party of the Year!7:00 pm - (january 1) 2:00 am

    mon31dec - 1jandec 317:00 pmjan 1- 1:00 amOne Eleven Grill New Year's Eve with Claude Godin and his Groove EnsembleCall 403.347-2111 to reserve for New Year7:00 pm - (january 1) 1:00 am