Monday, June 26, 2017

First Tunnel Through the Continental Divide

Welcome back to another blog from the Key Room!

Today’s trip around our museum doesn’t involve an actually key but rather another piece of history that is on prominent display. If you have ever visited our Key Room, I am sure you have seen the stone sitting on the table with a big metal key in it. Did you know that it is a significant piece of Colorado history?

Hole to the Alva B. Adams Tunnel
This inconspicuous stone slab with a hole in it was part of the first tunneling project through the Continental Divide, which created the Alva B. Adams Tunnel in the 1940s. The tunnel re-directed parts the Colorado River and other rivers to provide water to the Eastern Slope. The tunnel, which is 13.1 miles long, is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project that spans 250 miles to bring water from the Western Slope of the divide to the Eastern Slope.

      Construction of Adams Tunnel

Construction of the Adams Tunnel

Accompanying the stone was a tag explaining the story behind the hole:

For Gordon Mace—Baldpate Inn
            First Hole to Through the Continental Divide
           When there was 35 feet left to drill in the 13 mile Alva B. Adams Tunnel a pilot hole was drilled to find the distance between the two drilling crews. Since all other holes were shot and this one is not it is a part of the first hole through the Continental Divide.
                                -Presented by George W. and Lee Parker

The tunnel was completed in 1944 when the two tunnels were connected by dynamite blasts. Next time you stop by the Key Room, check out the humble stone slab in the middle of the room and realize that you are witnessing a piece of Colorado history.

Written By:
Brett Meyer
Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Key to Refreshment

Hello everyone!

Today as I was wondering around the key room looking for a key to blog about, I stumbled upon a classic American drink that donated a key to our collection, or rather a Colorado representative of the famous Cola.

Key donated by James A. Gooding Jr.

This key was added to our collection in 1946, by James A. Gooding Jr., in honor of his company buying the production and distribution rights of Dr. Pepper. Gooding was the president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company located in Denver and provided Pepsi products to most of Colorado. After the acquisition of Dr. Pepper, he was able to provide Colorado with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Patio Orange, Teem, and Dr. Pepper.

The Pepsi-Cola logo at the time of the key's donation

Pepsi was created in 1893 in North Carolina by Caleb Davis Bradham and became an overnight sensation, debuting as “Brad’s Drink”. By 1898, the drink had been renamed to its now iconic Pepsi-Cola, supposedly being able to aid in digestion, but still only being sold as a syrup to mix at home. By 1902 Bradham had formed a corporation under the same name and within the next two years, the demand for the Pepsi-Cola syrup became so high, Bradham decided to start bottling a drink premade with the syrup. World War I took a toll on the company which forced Bradham to sell it, but Pepsi is still one of the most iconic drinks in America and across the world, despite the ups and downs the company faced. 

The founder of Pepsi-Cola, Caleb Davis Bradham

All of our keys have an interesting story to tell, whether it’s about a famous person or even a famous drink, so head down to our key room and come find a story to learn about today!

Written by:
Victoria, Museum Curator

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Not Like The Rest A Tale of Girl Power

Hello and greetings from the Baldpate Inn Key Room! As I was making my way around the key room this morning, one particular story jumped out to me. The old picture, the key itself, and the story to match made an undeniably remarkable combination that I felt compelled to share with you all.  

          Take yourselves back to the 40's, 1947 to be exact, when times were different, and the world was starting to change.  Now picture a woman, what is she doing? I bet the first thing that came to mind was not flying a plane.  We are all aware of one incredible woman, and a household name to this day, Amelia Earhart. Although she defined the odds and became a worldwide figure, this story is not about her.  This story is about a young woman named Mary H. Dickey.  Even though she was not the first, she was, at one point, the only female that held a pilots license as well as earning the highest CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).  But Mary didn't stop there. She not only established her own pilot's school at the New Orleans Airport to teach ex GI's about airplanes, but also graduated in May of 1947 from that very same school.  At one point, Mary was able to say she had flown over 3200 hours and taught over 200 Army and Navy pilots.  To defy the odds as a woman back in the 40's was one thing, but to be the one teaching the guys a thing or two...was nearly unheard of.  It is women like this that started a revolution of sort, doing the things that "women weren't supposed to do", and seeing how far we can go.  Mary is a true inspiration to not only her generation, but also the generation of today.  

Mary personally donated the key to her twin engine Cessna, N.C. 75210, which she named "I Wake Up Screaming." to The Baldpare Inn, September the 7th, 1947.  
There are 30,000 stories here in our key room.  Come find the one that inspires you!! 

Written by Tivory Luevane
Museum Curator at The Baldpate Inn 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

From the Ashes to the Baldpate

Hey everyone!

Today I found a very interesting key hanging from our rafters!

Key donated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Band of Chicago, IL

This old skeleton key joined our collection in July of 1939 and has been with us ever since.  While it may look ordinary at first glance, a closer look at the tag explains that this key was brought from Germany to America and survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which if you ask me, is a quite feat considering the Great Chicago Fire was one of the worst fires in American history to have happened yet.

The Great Chicago Fire

Burning from October 8th to 10th, the Great Chicago Fire’s origin is surrounded in mystery. There are many theories about how the fire started, including the famous legend that Patrick and Catherine O’Leary’s cow knocked over a lantern which started the blaze, a legend that is often accepted as fact, despite denial from Catherine O’Leary and no actual proof. No one is really certain of how the fire started, but weeks without rain and damaged firefighting equipment are a recipe for disaster in a rapidly growing and people packed city. Eventually a rain storm aided the firefighters in putting out the fire on the 10th, but over 300 people had been killed and $200 million in damages had been sustained to the city by the time it was extinguished. This tragedy did have a positive side to it though, as it made builders more conscious of fire proofing buildings and the mass construction required to rebuild the city boosted the Chicago economy enough and drew in so many people, that only New York City rivaled it.

An artist's depiction of Mrs. O'Leary and her famous cow

In case you felt bad for the O’Leary’s, don’t worry! Catherine and her cow were exonerated by the city in 1997 and the Chicago Fire Department now uses the old O’Leary property to conduct fire safety training.

Come check out this key and many more in our key collection; each of them has an amazing story waiting for you to discover! 

Written by: 
Victoria, Museum Curator

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Key to Knowledge...and Hope

Howdy key lovers!

Today’s key is to the front gate of Oriel College, a segment of the University of Oxford.  This extraordinarily special key, donated by Ted Steele, unlocks the gates of knowledge…literally!  This key is of particular interest to me because I hope to have a career in the world of academia; also, I will be spending the upcoming 2017/2018 school year in the United Kingdom studying at the University of Essex.

Key to the front gates of Oriel College, presented by Ted Steele.

The United Kingdom is known for many things, one of which is its academic and educational excellence.  The University of Oxford, located in Oxford, United Kingdom, is one of the most prestigious centers for higher education in the world.  In addition to its reputation for providing students with a first-rate education, records suggest that students were being taught at the university in as early as 1096, making Oxford the oldest university in the English-speaking world.  Key to Oxford’s success as a school are its 38 outstanding constituent colleges, responsible for the actual teaching of students.

The constituent colleges of Oxford are self-governing institutions within the university that house and facilitate the teaching of students.  Within Oxford, each college offers a variety of subjects and student housing for undergraduate and postgraduate students.  Among these constituent colleges, one college stands above the rest: Oriel College.  The fifth college to be founded at Oxford in 1326, Oriel College holds the title of the oldest royal foundation in Oxford.  Because of this, the college is sometimes referred to as King’s College or King’s Hall.  Even more interesting, the college was used to house members of the court of King Charles I during the English Civil War in the 1640s.  From 1780 to 1830, the students and faculty of Oriel College were leaders in a movement to reform the academic standards of the University of Oxford.  Overall, the Baldpate is very privileged to have the key to a place known for such prestigious academic standards and which possesses such a rich history of innovation and success.

Oriel College at The University of Oxford.

In light of recent events, I would like to dedicate this post to the United Kingdom and its many remarkable/outstanding strengths and successes as a country.  We here at the Baldpate send our thoughts and prayers to a great nation that has experienced extreme tragedy in recent weeks.  Through heartbreaking events such as those that have occurred over the past few weeks, we pull together as a human race and mourn the tragic loss of precious life.  Although this has been a difficult season for the United Kingdom, as well as for the rest of the world, we know that this mighty nation will grow even stronger than it has been before and its people will bring each other strength and comfort.  Love and unity will bring healing to a nation in pain. 

Blog written by:
Alicia Byers
Museum Curator, The Baldpate Inn


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fellowman First

Howdy key lovers!

In honor of the Baldpate’s 100th birthday and of the greatest city in the world—Dallas, Texas—today’s key is one that was donated by the fantastic emcee at our 100th birthday party, Mr. Bill Melton.  The “key” is actually a commemorative pin depicting a key that was designed for the Dallas-area chapter of Lions Clubs International.

Commemorative key pin donated by former Lions
Clubs District Governor Bill Melton.

                Lions Clubs International is an organization that consists of people who work to better their communities and the lives of others around the world through service projects and volunteer work.  Today, Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world with about 1.35 million members worldwide.

During Mr. Melton’s membership in the club, he served as the governor of the 2-X1 district of Lions Clubs International.  As district governor, he oversaw and helped facilitate the day-to-day success of 70 lions clubs in the Dallas area.  He selected the mission statement of “Fellowman First” as the district’s theme from 1980-1981.  This mission statement was inscribed on a large key that was displayed at the club’s district meetings as a reminder of the overall goal of the organization.  A commemorative pin depicting the key was created for the 2-X1 district’s Club Presidents and District Officers.  This unique pin now has a home in our magnificent key collection.

Mr. Bill Melton speaking at the 85th anniversary of
Lions Clubs District 2-X1 in 2014.

Lions District 2-X1 Ambassador of Goodwill recipients, 2009.

Lions District 2-X1 Mid-Winter Conference in 2007.

                The Baldpate is honored to have received this special key pin for our 100th birthday, and it is one that will be treasured by many for years to come.  This key symbolizes the kind of selfless service that makes our world a better place to live.  In following with the mission of Lions Clubs International, and the inscription on the bottom of the pin, I want to close today’s post with a charge to readers: “TOUCH A LIFE WITH HOPE”.

Blog written by:
Alicia Byers
Museum Curator, The Baldpate Inn


Monday, June 19, 2017

Presenting to you...Four Generations.

Hello Everyone! Today's blog will feature the story of a heartfelt visit from the Stolz family of Chesapeake, Virginia. Dr. Steven and his wife Robin, along with their son, Michael, traveled to Estes Park to pay a visit to The Baldpate Inn like they have many time before, but this visit was different. The Stolz family arrived in search of a key that Steven's grandfather, Francis Miller, and his wife Lucille, had left during their honeymoon at The Baldpate Inn in 1936.

In recent years, museum curators and the American History Savers have cataloged and added every key into a database, making it easy to search for one particular key out of our collection of 30,000. After years of returning and hoping to become acquainted with their family treasure, the Miller key was found and reunited with the Stolz family.

Once the key was found pictures were taken and the Stolz family shared how the key represented four generations, but one piece of the story was missing. Despite the key being in our collection for a very long time, an exact date was missing. In a matter of minutes, Dr. Steven Stolz phoned his mother and asked when the Miller's took their honeymoon and just like that, another Baldpate key had been reconnected with its own history. It's always a heartwarming experience to witness the reality and the magic of what brands The Baldpate Inn as one of a kind. What makes the key room at the Baldpate particularly special is that its history is being preserved by individuals like the Stolz family, who will always share a peice of their families' history with The Baldpate Inn. 

Thank you Dr. Steven, Robin, and Micheal Stolz for sharing your story with us!

Until next time,

Jessica Carter, Museum Curator
The Baldpate Inn