Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Rocky Mountain Myths & Legends

        Ever been fascinated by the magic and mystery of The Rockies? Well on August 26th at 7 PM Museum Curator Danielle New will be bringing to life some of this mystique with her presentation, 

"Rocky Mountain Myths & Legends"

            Danielle is an emerging museum professional and storytelling enthusiast from Southern California. She currently serves as Museum Curator for The Baldpate Inn and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Washington. As a trained Anthropologist, Danielle has always been captivated by the power of storytelling to educate and form connections between people.

In this presentation, Danielle will recall some of the fascinating stories born from the Rocky Mountains, ranging from Native American legends to modern-day treasure hunting. Whether you call the Rocky Mountains home or are just passing through, these famous Colorado tales are sure to enchant you. Danielle looks forward to sharing some of the untold magic and mystery of the Rockies with you all.

          Call 970.586.5397 to RSVP. Only a few spots remain! 😊

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Climbing the Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park

Tomorrow, August 19th marks another exciting installation of our 2020 Summer Enchanted Evening program! Geology expert and recreational climber Connor Newman will discuss "Climbing the Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park" in the Key Room at 7PM. 

If you dig rocks & climbing them, this talk is for you! A unique hybrid of geological facts about Colorado's most famous 14ers, such as Longs Peak, and practical climbing philosophy, this presentation is sure to "rock" 😋🌄

Call 970.586.5397 for reservations 😀

Written by Danielle New
Museum Curator

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saying Goodbye

Hi all!
Today will be my last day here at the Baldpate Inn before heading back to Michigan. I thought I would share some of my favorite memories from my time here. 

Late night fires at the Key-Thedral

Walks around Lily Lake to watch the sunset

Going on day trips with the new friends I made 

Presenting at Summer Enchanted Evenings

and learning to find peace in the little things of life

I would like to thank all our readers and my new and old friends that have made my time here unforgettable.

Written by Maddie Anderson

Friday, July 31, 2020

In The Jailhouse Now

Slammer, clink, can, pen, pokey, joint. These are all different words for the same place: jail. 

Here in the Baldpate Inn Key Room & Museum we have several keys from jails all around the country. We have the key to the old Baraga County Jail in Michigan, which was dismantled in 1911 and has since been rebuilt. An even older key unlocks the front door of the Weld County Jail in Colorado, built in 1896. 
Blair, Nebraska Jail Key

One of our jail keys tells a somewhat grim, yet fascinating story. A mob of angry people stole the jail key from the Marshal in Blair, Nebraska, a small town near Omaha. They rushed the jailhouse, pulled out a prisoner who had murdered a family, and executed him in an act of vigilante justice.

Another key unlocked the kitchen to a prisoner of war base in Germany during WWII. A longtime Estes Park resident acquired the key specifically to donate it to the Key Room.

Arthur Gooch's Handcuff Key

Lastly, we have Arthur Gooch's handcuff key, an escaped prisoner who kidnapped two policemen and transported them across state lines. Interestingly, Gooch is the only person in United States history to be executed under the 1932 Lindbergh Law, created after the infamous Lindbergh baby case, for a kidnapping in which the victims were unharmed. The key was donated to us in July 1936, only a month after Gooch was put to death. 

To learn more about history, outlaws, and all things keys, come on by The Baldpate Inn Key Room & Museum. Until next time!

Written by Danielle New
Museum Curator

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Royal Keys

Today while chatting with some visitors, I was asked to find our famous Key to Buckingham Palace. If you've ever been to the Key Room, you know that finding one certain key can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, we have pretty detailed records of where our most notable keys are placed, so after a few minutes of digging I was able to find it. Ooohs and Ahhs ensued as onlookers imagined which famous figure might have held this key in the past. Or more likely, which famous figure's dutiful servant.

Hailing all the way back to 1936, our key to the side gate of Buckingham Palace contains lots of storied history. Did you know that Buckingham Palace wasn't always possessed by the crown? In the Middle Ages, various parties leased the residence from royal owners and it changed hands many times. It wasn't until 1837 that Buckingham Palace became the principal home of the monarchy, with Queen Victoria establishing residence there. 

You might be imagining a lavish retreat with all the finest fabrics, 14k gold silverware, and spotlessly clean furnishings. In reality, Buckingham Palace was something of a fixer upper in the mid-19th century, with a significant ventilation problem and neglectful staff. All the architectural issues and staff organization problems were solved in the late 1800s, with Buckingham Palace finally taking shape as the picture of perfection we know it as today.

Nowadays, Buckingham Palace has a whopping 775 rooms and the largest private garden in London. If you can't make it to London this season to see the wonderful estate in person, head on up to The Baldpate Inn to marvel at a piece of its history instead! 

Written by Danielle New
Museum Curator

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Christmas in July!

Merry Christmas, folks! 🎅

Today begins The Baldpate Inn's yearly Christmas in July celebration. Our halls are decked, our stockings are hung, and festive tunes are playing. This year's staff is hard at work for the 2020 Gingerbread House Competition, with many creative ideas brewing. Stay tuned to see the final designs and pick the winning team!

Did you know that the Christmas in July tradition goes all the way back to 1922? This newspaper clipping from the Estes Park Trail announces that the guests of The Baldpate Inn celebrated Christmas #2 with all the trimmings: a tree, handmade presents, and decorations galore. Today we continue this time-tested tradition with a little friendly competition and Christmas cheer. Perhaps most exciting of all, you won't want to miss out on our Holiday Beverage Specials! Get your Cranberry Mimosas, Peppermint Schnapps Hot Chocolate, and Hot Buttered Rum this weekend only! Hope to see you soon! 🎄

Written by Danielle New
Museum Curator

Monday, July 20, 2020

Then and Now - Baldpate in the 1960's versus 2020

Today's musing comes from a small envelope full of old pictures taken in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Pairing each location with a photo taken today, a striking contrast appears as the history of Baldpate comes out through its changes.

Baldpates 2nd Floor Back Entrance:
An entire staircase is missing today, as well as an extra room attached to the second floor. The trees are different too as the skinny birch in the mid-ground of the old photo is missing today. A large pine has also cropped up to replace the other pine in the old photo as rear guard of the inn.

Baldpate's Back Office:
This image was one of the hardest locations to identify out of the old photographs in the envelope because of how strikingly different the back office has become. The desk, seen in the 1960's photo, has been succeed by a green filing cabinet and printer. The only recognizable landmark from this photo is a window that, today, is completely blocked off.

Dining Room Entrance:
There have been some slight modifications to the layout that includes the modern maitre d' station and bathroom hallway. A slight repositioning of the snowshoes and the addition of the twisty log are some changes in the decorations. 

Baldpate's Front Desk:
A major upgrade to our lobby, we have gone from shag carpeting to hardwood floors! Other than this drastically positive change and some minor shifts in decoration, the desk has seen little change in the last five decades.

Our Front Porch:
A spitting image of the past, our front porch has miraculously stood the test of time. Just the additions of a new bench and some stickers in our window have changed the look of the porch.

The Kitchen:
By far the most dramatically overhauled section of the Inn, the old kitchen is unrecognizable in the face of our modern facility. The room has been so drastically stripped and redone that discerning where the original 1960's photograph was taken is next to impossible. Although much has changed, the basic elements of a kitchen can be seen reflected in both old and new.

Building exterior:
The foliage surrounding the Inn has definitely grown significantly from the 1960's to the 2020's. The other major difference between these photos is the old deck on the roof of the Baldpate. It is said that every 4th of July the guests were invited to the deck to watch the fireworks in the valley below. While the days of the deck are long past, our 24/7 live-stream camera remains on the roof giving glorious views of the valley. 

Kitchen Roof & Deck:
There's something to say about this transformation. For one, we have an air conditioner now! If you look carefully, you can see the growth of two pine trees just behind the inn.

Telephone Booth:
Lastly, the story of the missing telephone booth. Directly to the side of the main entrance, this telephone booth stood until just a few year ago. Of course times have changed and guests no longer need to use the booth as cellphones give that freedom. The taxidermied bird that adorned the top of the booth remains, however his perch has become our brochure stand.

If you like this look back into Baldpate history, then you also might like our 100 years blog! Check it out at https://baldpate100yearsbook.blogspot.com/ !

Written by Adam Dohn
Museum Curator