Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reminicent Registers

One of the most rewarding parts of the Baldpate Inn Key Room is the living history that survives here. Since our collections are comprised of visitor contributions, many of our guests have a special tie to the keys, photographs, and even our guest registers.

The Baldpate has the distinction of being the only inn in Colorado with a complete set of original guest registers since opening. We have been working to document the incredible wealth of information these registers contain, and with good reason.

Just recently, a couple came to the Baldpate in search of their names in the 1968 guest register. They explained that they got married on August 14 and had driven their yellow Triumph TR250 to the Baldpate for their honeymoon. The newly married Wilhites spent a few days in Estes Park to begin their long, happy marriage.

This August 14th, the Wilhites celebrated their 44th anniversary by coming to visit the bed and breakfast where they spent their honeymoon. After quite a bit of searching through our 95 years worth of guest signatures, we were able to find an unassuming signature of Mr. & Mrs. Q. M. Wilhite, who stayed in room 14. The couple was excited to have finally found their signature after a few unsuccessful attempts in previous years of visiting while the inn was not open. The Wilhites found a priceless token of the beginning of their marriage as part of their celebration.

At the Baldpate, we have embarked on the task of copying the names and information located in these registers for their preservation and research. Some of our earliest registers contain sketches by the local Estes Park artist, Dave Stirling. Because we wish to keep all parts of our historic registers for the use and enjoyment of the public, the registers are being documented in photographic form as well as through a database. Eventually, we hope to be able to link our guest registers with our key database, and even our photograph collection so that we can align guest signatures, keys and portraits. Until then though, feel free to come and sign in on the register. When you come back in 44 years, your name will be waiting for you!

Key Room Museum Curator

Key Room News: Join us at 7 pm tonight to hear Estes Park Museum Director Derek Fortini present this season's last Summer Enchanted Evening, Charles Mace: Photography and Life in anticipation for their upcoming exhibit on the photography of one of the Baldpate's original owners.