Holidays at the Governor's Mansion

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The Governor’s Mansion seems to have been built for the holidays. The first family always delights in showing it off.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The Governor’s Mansion seems to have been built for the holidays. The first family always delights in showing it off.

“It’s just fantasy everywhere you look,” said Jeanne Herbert.

It’s been the unofficial state holiday card since Governor Henry and Minnie Blood lived here in the 1930s.

The details of the holidays match the details of turn of the century architecture and yet it is also truly an intimate place for family holidays.

Just as Governor Lee and his family found in the 1950s, the main decoration has always been the big tree in the grand hall surrounded by the staircase.

“It was like something out of the movies when you are used to a smaller Christmas, you know but like with a lot of our family,” said Joan Lee Taylor in an interview from 1996.

The decorated Christmas tree continued to warm the place although it warmed the mansion a bit too much 20 years ago this month the tree caught on fire and the Leavitt’s lost almost everything.

It caused $4 million in damage.

The inside was gutted and it would take nearly three years for the holidays to return to the mansion

Wirth was honored to be able to reintroduce the house to our television audience along with the first family.

Christmas certainly has distinct memories for us, you will notice we have no live tree,” said Leavitt in December 1993 interview.

The house and the holidays were one again and we remember not only the night it burned, but the night the holidays returned.
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