Saturday, July 28, 2012

Home on the Road

A special package arrived with the Baldpate Inn mail this year from Kurt and Virginia Naville.

They donated what, at first glance, appears to be a humble house key with two translucent red dots on either side of  the bow, or top part of the key.

When you read the Navilles' story though, you realize that this donation was truly heartfelt. The Baldpate is now the keeper of the key to their former residence in Fairview, Texas. They told us:

"We lived there for 21 years, raising our children in this happy home. Four years ago we sold our home and bought a truck and fifth wheel trailer. We are now volunteering our time working at National Wildlife Refuges around the country. This way we live and work in an area of the United States, helping where needed, meeting wonderful people and touring. We are hoping we have found the "Key" to retirement happiness through our adventures. Please add this key to your collection. It was always a very special key to us."
Our collections are now home to the symbol of an earlier, much loved phase of their lives. These  days, the Navilles are continuing with their travels. We can't be happier that they chose to include us on their journey.

If you would like to donate a key to our key room, but are no longer in the Estes Park area, feel free to mail your donation to:

PO Box 700
4900 South Highway 7
Estes Park, CO 80517

It would be our pleasure to transcribe your story onto a tag and include it in our collections. Likewise, if you do visit us and have a key at home you would like to donate, please take a tag home with you. Mail-in donations are truly a treat here at the Baldpate!

We'll be looking for your correspondence!
Key Room Museum Curator
The Baldpate Inn

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Swimming through the Ocean of Keys

No need for a compass; our Key Room is easier to navigate than ever before! We updated our map to improve your chances of finding the key you are looking for, and in conjunction with our updated database, you can easily search a key and find where it is located in the room.

For example, if you were looking for the key to Sam Houston's Law Office from Huntsville, TX, instead of spending hours searching the 3 Texas beams, you can search "Houston" on our database computer. The database will show you that it is located on the bottom shelf of Case 5.  Consult the Wall and Case Map, and finding the Sam Houston key is simpler than getting Texas to join the United States!

Come use the new and improved map, and see what you can find!


Baldpate Inn Key Room Curator

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Key to Knowledge

Chances are, since you're reading this blog, you are an  investigative person who realizes that learning is a perpetual and rewarding part of life. Hopefully, you find this key as inspiring as I do.

One of the more inconspicuous keys hanging in the Missouri section caught my eye because of its background and claim to what it unlocks.

“A key to knowledge am I” 
For many years I unlocked the doors of the public library at Kansas City, MO until they decided to remodel all of my locks and then I was discarded.

Such reads the donation tag written by Edith Humphrey on July 28, 1937.  At the time, the Kansas City Public Library existed at 9th and Locust streets and served as an integral institution in establishing the city as the thriving municipality that it is today. 

Since 1898, the key provided access to a wealth of information for the benefit of the public, regardless of socioeconomic status. In 1901, William Rockhill Nelson donated a collection of pictures to the library. This collection became the foundation for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which was established in the 1930s. The library continued to expand throughout first half of the century; when the library outgrew its building in the 1960s, the architects remained loyal to the mission of keeping the Kansas City Public Library devoted to connecting its patrons to the modern era. A new "space age" building was built to house the community's literature and notify the public that knowledge was a commodity that every contemporary member of Kansas City society should attempt to attain.

The key's symbolic ability to unlock humanity's collective understanding through the writings of others will forever remain one of the more valuable donations to the Baldpate Key Room.

If you get the chance to stop by the Baldpate, ask to see the Kansas City Public Library key. We would be happy to point you toward the key to knowledge, humbly hanging from our rafters.

Until next time,

Baldpate Inn Key Room Curator

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Key to a Summer Enchanted Evening

Have you ever wondered how the Baldpate Inn got its somewhat unglamorous name? Ever been curious why and how we ended up collecting over 30,000 keys? The time is approaching to wonder no longer!

Your Key Room Museum Staff, Sara and Lauren
I am proud to announce that on Wednesday, August 22nd and Wednesday, September 5th, the Key Room will be hosting a Summer Enchanted Evening. Sara, the Museum Manager, and I will be conducting a presentation which focuses on the history of the Baldpate Inn and some of the fascinating keys we have in our collection. Mark your calendar to come learn more about the history the Baldpate can unlock!

Our Summer Enchanted Evenings are free to all, and take place every Wednesday night through September 12th. If you would like to make a dinner reservation before the lecture, please call us at 970.586.KEYS. Be sure to check what we will be serving that day with our Baldpate Inn Blog.

Hope to see you at our presentation next month!


Baldpate Inn Key Room Curator

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Share Your Story Series

Today we are beginning our new series, Share Your Story. The Baldpate not only houses the rich history of the keys we have collected, but also has accumulated its own spectacular history over its 96 years of operation! This year, we have been asking our past employees to tell the rest of the Baldpate family some of their favorite memories from the summers they spent here. 

Today's special guest is Megan Aldridge

Megan found the key she donated in our key room and shared this story with us:

"First the key I left is a key from my Grandmother's Bed and Breakfast in Warrensburg, Missouri. It is a house that was built in the 1900s and has been in our family for as long as I can remember. It meant a lot to leave a key to my favorite place that would remind me of my greatest summer ever."
Megan said that her run-in with a black bear was one of the memories she would remember for years to come:
"I was by the wine rack against the wall at the first table when my friend Jessica came in the room and turned sheet white and said, 'Don't move, I have to get my camera.' While she was gone, Gabe came in and said, 'Don't move, you have a bear right by you and the window is open.' I asked him to move the table and I ran away while Jessica took pictures. Clearly she was worried for me!"

Thankfully, Megan's close encounter was a safe one! This year at the Baldpate, we've had two bear sightings, and although the staff considers it a special treat, we also hope to keep the bears at a safe distance. 

Feel free to Share Your Story with the Baldpate family! Email us at and we will include you in the series.

Until next time,
Baldpate Inn Key Room Curator

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

America and... Dracula!

Happy 4th of July from the Baldpate Inn Key Room!

Today we had a very special event: the unveiling of an extraordinary key by our first returning international staff member, Claudia Leonte. Claudia just arrived from Romania for her second season at the Baldpate. After spending a year here, she asked for the key to Dracula's castle so she could donate it to our key room.

Claudia emailed the managers of Bran Castle to ask if they had any keys they would be willing to donate. In response, they sent the key to a secret passageway leading from the well to the Royal Park. Queen Maria used this route in order pass from the inner courtyard to the outside Royal Park.

The Bran Castle was built in 1377, and is rumored to have been under the brutal rule of Vlad the Impaler, the man who inspired Braum Stoker's Dracula.

Interestingly, between 1836 and 1920, the key was used to unlock the main castle gates. It was only in 1937 that the secret passage was dug and the key was given a new purpose.

Come see this spectacular key in its new American home, the Baldpate Key Room!

Check back next week!

Baldpate Inn Key Room Curator