Saturday, July 11, 2015

Historic Memories

Hello Everyone!

Today was a very exciting day. Two individuals from the Baldpate Inn's past visited us again. The first being Maryann Grometer who worked here as a salad girl in 1942. One of her fondest memories was how the girls would go up to Lily Lake to collect the blooming lilies that blanketed the lake for table centers in the dining room. Our second guest was Vance Brand who is the son of Rudy Brand who donated the large yoke key. Here to visit with his wife Bev and daughter Susan he fondly remembers his father Dr. Rudy Brand. A real pioneer Rudy was born in 1903 in Boulder, moving to Longmont to become a veterinarian after finishing school. Vance also remembers how his father’s sisters Helen and Grace Brand, who just out of high school, chose to work here in the early thirties. Its days like these that reinstate the historic value and love for the Baldpate Inn. If anyone has any fond memories, laugh out loud stories, or even spooky ones, feel free to let us know! Feel free to email us at or stop by to share your stories and/or photographs.

                                Left: wife Bev Brand, Center: Vance Brand, Right: daughter Susan Brand

Your Friendly Curator,

Isabella Vinsonhaler

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

In celebration of the holiday, we here at the Baldpate have donned our festive apparel and decorated the inn with the wonderful red, white, and blue. Tonight, our guests and those who join us for dinner will be joining us in watching the Estes Park fireworks from our cozy mountain inn.

In light of the holiday, I just wanted to give a brief highlight on some of our American history keys.

As soon as you walk in, you can see a picture of President George Bush. This photo comes with a letter. Originally, a letter had been sent to President Bush in an attempt to gain a key to the White House. The attempt, however, was unsuccessful. The President responded simply by saying, “It is the votes of the American people that open the doors to the White House.”

In case 7, we have the Francis Scott Key. The key is wooden and made from the hand hewn joists that were in the flag house in Baltimore. In this flag house, the American flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 was made. This flag survived a twenty-four hour bombardment from the British ships. This very flag is what inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.

Case 3 contains a key ring of 4 keys. These are keys to the Pentagon. They came into our collection through Pentagon Key smith: Snake. If you look closely at the keys, they say US Property. DO NOT REPLICATE.

Lastly, in the front of the Key Room in case 2, we have a key to the US Mint at Philadelphia. This is a rather peculiar key and definitely one of the more originally shaped ones. Beneath it, there is a key to the Fort Knox side door.

Next time you’re in our Key Room, make sure to see some of these interesting keys in American history. Have a safe holiday!

God Bless America,
Matthew Porter

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Day of Excitement

Happy soon to be Fourth of July!

     Come join us for our gathering on our porch to eat dinner and then watch the fireworks, stars, and enjoy each other’s company for the fourth! Today I’d like to talk about the photo collection we have in both the dining room and on the sun porch. The labeling for all the photographs has been completed as well as the photo albums found in the lobby that give more detailed information. Each photograph, like each key, has its very own story which both Matt and I are happy to share. 

      One of my favorite photos is the one of Chuck Malone, the Baldpate Inn wrangler. The photograph shows Malone sitting in front of the Baldpate Inn with a Cheshire grin, harp and turban.  A very eccentric man, he not only carved his name into the mantle of the Wrangler cabin’s fireplace, but was rumored to have ridden his horse into the dinning room. 

A living firecracker, Malone turned the Baldpate Inn into a wondrous place of adventure, and excitement, which we hope to reproduce for our Fourth of July celebration!

Your Friendly Curator,

Isabella Vinsonhaler

Thursday, July 2, 2015

George M. Cohan

One staple of the Baldpate history is the namesake book, 7 Keys to Baldpate by Earl Derr Biggers. Mr. Biggers published his book in 1913. With the book’s popularity at the time, the Mace family (currently building the inn) decided to name the inn The Baldpate Inn, after the book. The fictional inn and the actual inn had many striking similarities. For example, the inn was 7 miles out of town and was only open in the summer. 7 Keys to Baldpate was very popular at this time. In the same year as the publishing of the book, Broadway writer George M. Cohan wrote a play adaptation of the book, which has been performed routinely and has been adapted to film several times.

In 1913, when Cohan adapted 7 Keys to Baldpate, he already had a pretty impressive resume behind him. The premiere of 7 Keys brought about much confusion in the audience and critics. Regardless, it became a hit. The play ran for a year in New York, a year in Chicago, and several revivals would follow, including one starring Mr. Cohan himself. 7 Keys to Baldpate was success for it was a well written adaptation. Critic Eileen Warburton attributes its success for it “mixes all the formulaic melodrama of the era with a satirical [farcical] send-up of just those melodramatic stereotypes.”

With the Fourth of July upon us, I thought it would be a good time to talk about Mr. Cohan’s musical compositions. With his work on Broadway, he wrote many patriotic songs that we still sing and listen to today. His first Broadway hit, Little Johnny Jones, premiered in 1904. This musical featured the popular song “The Yankee Doodle Boy.” The musical was about a fictional, American jockey who rides a horse named Yankee Doodle in the English races. Other hits to come out of this musical include “Give my Regards to Broadway,” a very popular musical theatre piece.

After the success of Little Johnny Jones, Cohan became one of the more prominent Tin Pan Alley writers. This was a collective of writers and publishers that dominated Broadway and popular music during the early twentieth century. Such songs to come out of this era include “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “OverThere.” “Over There” was used during World War I to help improve moral and increase patriotism. It was the most popular song of the era.

George M. Cohan’s work is timeless. His music is still played today, especially around this time. His plays are still performed. 7 Keys to Baldpate specifically has been revived many times and has been adapted to film 7 times. The first one, a 1917 silent film by Paramount, starred Mr. Cohan in the lead. Along with this, it was adapted to television twice. There is also a radio play adaption starring Jack Benny and Mary Livingston, which you can hear in our Key Room every day. George M. Cohan’s work has been immortalized in our culture. Next time you’re in the Key Room, make sure to find Mr. Cohan’s key, which he donated to our vast collection.

Your dead square, honest Yankee*
Matthew Porter

*quote from Grand Old Flag verse 2