Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blair­more Heritage House and Tearoom: Lois Green

Lois Green: a portrait
by Jocelyn Thomas

"Wanted: rugged individual­ist, comfortable in the mountains, with people skills, business sense, and the will to begin a new life at retirement age."

If this had been an ad, Lois Green, own-proprietor of the Blair­more Heritage House and Tearoom on 2oth Avenue, would have been hired on the spot.

Lois Green left an abusive mar­riage in Victoria, BC when a rela­tively young mother of four. Ven­turing-north to High Level, AB, south of Whitehorse, Lois pro­ceeded to support her family by working around the clock: days, as dispatcher (and sole female employee) for the phone com­pany; nights, as janitor for the RCMP. Years later, she attended a daughter's wedding in Fernie, and discovered that her mom had once lived in the Pass. Heading for home, Lois suddenly, impulsively wheeled around on the highway, making a decision to explore Blair­more, instead. This was nearly 13 years ago.

With "Tia," her part-bear dog, in tow, Lois Green renovated her newly purchased Blairmore Her­itage Home. Friends and family called her dream of running a Vic­torian B & B and Tearoom alone, "crazy;" but Lo is was a strong woman.

Although she had no idea what to expect, she had never in life hesi­tated to pursue new adventure to its conclusion.

After bushwhacking through' cobwebs and dirt from the ground floor on up the stately dark wood staircase, Lois added a bathroom with "smushed" raspberry walls, industriously collected antiques, added house plants on stands, and arranged cosy displays of gift items.

Her hospitality would fetch her five guest books with comments like: "fabulous," "exquisite," and "peaceful." One client nestled here contentedly for a full month. A Cranbrook miner who bedded down and supped tea over a three­year span, became "like a son:' Lois has also pampered people from every corner of the region.

Now poised to abandon this pleasant chapter of her life, Green pleads, "No regrets," with an upbeat smile that has gotten her through rough times, (like the pre-mature death of her asthmatic daughter last year).

She typically only remembers the bright -- not the hours of scrubbing floors. "The thrill of having made so many international friends, over cups of tea (she has hundreds of cups) r over hot scones, between fruit platter samplings, and while spooning dollops of jam or lemon curd or Devon cream on muffins, has meant everything to me," she says.

Never having had to advertise, word-of-mouth alone has done the trick for Lois' special lunches and dinners in refined English tra­dition . (Amusingly, Lois herself takes daily tea breaks by visiting a neighbour's house, the home of Tia's boyfriend "Ernie:')

Now 78, Lois Green has decided to take a rest, but not without admitting she will miss it and would do it all again. Sitting with Tia for tea and shortbread, she related how a phone company col­league, after travelling down to check on her, had exclaimed, "You did OK, kid!"

note: With Lois' retirement her Heritage Bed & Breakfast and Tea House is now for sale. Here is a chance for you to be a part of Crowsnest Pass history with this historic house in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. Call me!

note2: This Heritage house SOLD during the month of March but we still have others in the 'beautiful' Crowsnest Pass. Give me a call, and I will be happy to show you what is available.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, Century 21 'The Professionals'. Serving the Crowsnest and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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