Monday, August 14, 2017

Key to the Royal Tombs of Egypt

Good morning key lovers!

Today, I will take you half way around the world to explore a key that comes from the royal tombs in Egypt. The key is from the lock on the crypt where Ibrahim Pasha is entombed at the tombs of the califs dating to 600 A.D. “Ibrahim Pasha was the son of Mohamed Ala, the first Egyptian ruler and was the great emancipator of the Egyptians.” Pasha started off as a general in the Egyptian army as a teenager. He succeeded his father, who was the ruler of Egypt and Sudan, after he became ill. However, he died before his father, only four months after taking the throne.

Portrait d'Ibrahim Pacha 2.JPG
Ibrahim Pasha
The attached note says that the “key was obtained by Richard Spencer on his trip around the world in 1937.” There is now a monument erected to Pasha in Cairo. He was heralded as one of the greatest leaders of his dynasty due to his sweeping military victories. What other keys to royalty may be hidden among our walls?

Key to Pasha's crypt

Written by:
Brett Meyer
Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Polish Palace

Good afternoon everyone! 

This summer sure has flown by quickly, and I find myself on my second to last day here at the Baldpate before heading back to school. It's crazy how fast the summer has gone! Since it's my last time in the key room, I wanted to share with you all one of my favorite keys that I've come to love after spending my summer in the key room. 

When I was browsing the key room when I first got here this summer, this large key immediately caught my eye, but it wasn’t until a little later that I actually took some time to research it. I knew some preliminary information about the Wilanów Palace, but in my free time I was determined to learn some more about it. 

Key donated by Mrs. Sophia Zaleski Hinkle, longtime donor to our collection

The Wilanów Palace is located about five miles outside of Warsaw, Poland. Construction began in 1677 and was finished for a while in 1696 by King John Sobieski III. The residence started out small, but grew immensely as construction continued over the decades. The palace passed between Polish royalties as the centuries passed, falling in and out of the grandeur it was built to resemble.

Letter from Sophia, giving information about the
 key and including a picture of the palace at the time
of donation, 1936. 

The palace as it is today

Finally, after recovering from a spell of being neglected, the palace was returned to the splendor it was intended to have and was opened as one of the very first museums in Poland in 1805. The magnificent building was kept in pristine condition and had many rooms preserved in it. One of the most famous was the stark white hall built after King John’s time, which boasted a welcoming large white room for all. Others include chambers where parties would be held and bedrooms fit for kings.

The infamous White Hall, located near the palace entrance

Another hallmark of the palace is the portrait gallery that contains priceless paintings of Polish royalty and other influential members of the country’s past. These frames are preserved for all to look at even today, and tell the tale of many rulers time has forgotten.

A view down one of the hallways of the portrait gallery in the palace

I love this key because as it leads to one of the most beautiful palaces that the world has sometimes forgotten and it makes me feel connected to my family history, as we have a long, long line of Polish decent. There’s so many amazing stories to historical buildings and palaces alike in our key collection just waiting to be discovered. Come over for yourself and check them out before we close for the season in October! 

Written by:
Victoria Witkowski, Museum Curator

Source (for info and images): 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lindbergh Law

Good morning key scholars!

Today’s key has a unique connection to Charles Lindbergh, the famous transatlantic pilot of the Spirit of St. Louis, and a piece of legislative history. On March 1, 1932, Charles and his wife’s child, Charles Jr., was kidnapped and murdered. Because of their high profile status, the nation was outraged by the crime against the Lindberghs. It took two years, but Bruno Richard Hauptmann was finally arrested for the kidnap and murder, before being convicted and executed in 1936.¹

Image result for lindbergh kidnapping
Charles Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped in 1932

As a result of the popularity of this trial, the 1932 Federal Kidnapping Act, popularly called the Lindbergh Law, was passed. The law stated that it is “a federal offense to kidnap someone with the intent to seek a ransom or reward.”² Today’s key is connected directly to the implementation of this law. The key is to the handcuffs that were used on Arthur Gooch, the only person at that time to have been executed under the Lindbergh Law. The attached letter states that not only was Gooch the first person to be executed under the law, the same night his guilty verdict was returned, a jury convicted Hauptmann to death for his murder of Charles Jr.

Image result for arthur gooch
Arthur Gooch

Below is the full content of the attached letter:
                I understand you have accumulated a rare collection of historic keys and am enclosing one I feel will add materially to the value of your collection. 
                Attached hereto is the handcuff key used by a deputy United States marshal in the eastern district of Oklahoma to shackle Arthur Gooch, the only man in America so far executed under the Lindbergh Law, when he was transported from the city-federal hail at Muskogee, Oklahoma, to the state penitentiary at McAlester, Oklahoma, for incarceration in the death row. 
                Gooch, an escaped prisoner from the Hughes County, Oklahoma, jail was arrested on December 26, 1934, after having kidnapped two policeman in Paris, Texas, on November 26, 1934, and brought them across the state line into Oklahoma. He was indicted on May 30, 1935, and on June 10, 1935, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and assessed the punishment of hanging. 
                On June 19, 1935, Honorable Robert Lee Williams, Federal Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, sentenced Gooch to hang setting the date of the execution for Friday, September 13, 1935. Gooch, however, immediately appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals at Denver. The case went to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the offense was ruled a violation of the Lindbergh Law, and the Supreme Court later refuse to take the appeal on a writ of certiorari. The mandate was returned and filed in the office of the U.S. Court Clerk on April 22, 1936. On Friday, June 19, 1936, the death warrant was returned to the clerk showing that the order of the court had been carried out, that Arthur Gooch had been executed at McAlester, Oklahoma, at 5 o’clock that morning. 
                To date, no other person has been hanged for the same offense. 
                Another odd angle to the case is that the indictment against Gooch was returned the same night jury at Trenton, N.J., dommed Bruno Richard Hauptmann to die for the murder of the Lindbergh baby. It was Hauptmann’s offense which caused Congress to pass the law under which Gooch was executed. 
                I trust this key may find a place in your collection. 
                                                                Sincerely yours,
                                                                John E. Tidwell
Key to Arthur Gooch's handcuffs
It is amazing how some of these keys are connected to famous people and famous events in the history of the U.S. Come find out for yourselves!

Written by:
Brett Meyer
Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Duke of Wellington

Hello friends of the Key Room!

It has been a few days since our last post but today’s should make up for our absence. The key for today belonged to the famous first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. The Duke is famous for his role in the Napoleonic Wars. This key, which was to his soap box, was carried with him through his most famous military achievement: the Battle of Waterloo. It was during this battle, in 1815, that the Duke of Wellington shared in the victory of Napoleon.

Later in life, the Duke became the prime minister of Britain and was praised for his honest character and as an uncorrupt politician. We were fortunate enough to be given this key by Mrs. Rex Philips Johnson who says she kept the soap box that the key belongs to. Though this key is small, it unlocks an important part of history and connects us to the “conquer of the world’s conquer.” What other keys might we have that are linked to major events in the world’s history? Come check it out for yourself!

Written by:
Brett Meyer

Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Discovering Wake

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to another blog from our key room!

Today I wanted to blog about a key that I talked about in my Summer Enchanted Evening on July 19th. I felt that a lot of the transportation keys in our collection were often overlooked, so I wanted to share an interesting story from one of them with you.

One of my favorite keys that I researched for my project was the key we have for the SS North Haven. Now, many people don’t know a whole lot about this little ship but it has a huge impact on American history.
Key donated by Steward Fred Scott

The SS North Haven left San Francisco on March 25, 1935, with the goal of discovering new islands that could help as bases in the forthcoming World War II. This strategy would be later called “Island Hopping” and be crucial to the victory of the Allies. The most important island that the North Haven would discover is the island of Wake. It was previously unexplored by white men and the natives had not yet come into contact with Europeans. This discovery, along with some other key finds, secured the SS North Haven a spot on a list of very important ships.
The SS North Haven at port

There’s so many cool stories just like this one in our key room, so come on up and check it out for yourself! 

Written by:
Victoria Witkowski, Museum Curator 


Second Image: 

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Cold War Hotel

Hello Everyone! Back again with a fascinating story about one of our keys here at The Baldpate Inn. A few weeks ago, I presented at a Summer Enchanted Evening event on Wartime Keys throughout the key room. The history I learned was truly captivating and the best part was that there were so many stories to tell. Although I did cover some of the American wars, there is one in particular I wasn’t able to learn about, until now.

This key was given to us in 1991, the very same year the Soviet Union fell apart and the Cold War was officially over. Marlene Remington of Colorado donated the key that unlocks room 7016 at the legendary Moskva Hotel (Russian for Moscow Hotel). The idea of building Hotel Moscow was constructed in the 1920s because the USSR government wanted to create a symbol for socialist construction that would challenge the buildings in Chicago and New York City. Construction began in 1932 and lasted until 1938 but the hotel officially opened its doors on December 20, 1935.

 Hotel Moscow is not part of the famed “Seven Sisters”, a group of skyscrapers in Moscow that are known to be designed in a “Stalinist” style. The “Seven Sisters” include the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel,The Hotel Ukraina, Kudrinskaya Square Building, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs main building, the main building of Moscow State University, and the Red Gates Administrative Building. The story goes that the architect Alexei Shchusev presented two separate designs of Hotel Moscow to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, but since they were on the same sheet of paper instead of picking one design like Shchusev would have hoped, Stalin signed the middle of the paper. Of course, no one wanted to question Stalin as to which building he wanted so both designs were constructed giving the building its asymmetrical style. Hotel Moscow was equipped with 1,000 guest rooms and known for providing its guests with high-profile luxury accommodations, including the hotels picture featured on every bottle of Stolichnaya vodka that is still produced today.

Years after Stalin’s reign had ended, a debate culminated around if the Hotel Moskva was a haunting reminder of Stalin and the Soviet Union or a historical architectural monument. It was finally decided in 2002 that the original Hotel Moscow would be demolished and a modern replica would be built in its place. Now, the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow features 21st century technology unaccompanied by the Stalinist design. Hotel Moscow serves as a symbol to the both dark and heroic era, but in any case a piece of the original Hotel Moskva can still be found in our key room.

Until next time!

Jessica Carter, Baldpate Museum Curator

Sources: Hotel Moskva

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Seven Keys Production

Welcome back!

Today’s key has a special connection to the Baldpate Inn. This key was used in the production of “Seven Keys to Baldpate” in the 1929 and donated to the Key Room in 1930 by Richard Dix. Dix was the actor who played William Magee in the movie and decided to donate the key after he discovered there actually was a Baldpate Inn. This movie version of the novel was produced by RKO Studios and was the first film of “Seven Keys to Baldpate” with sound. Prior to this film, all productions were either silent or plays.

Speaking of plays, this past weekend marked the last showing of Encore Encore’s take on the “Seven Keys to Baldpate.” The play was not only funny and exciting, it also exhibited the history of the Baldpate by reliving the novel that gave us our name. If you missed the play, you can still catch one of the many movies or plays that have been made throughout the years. Even better, stop in and purchase your own copy of the novel “Seven Keys to Baldpate” so that you can fully appreciate the history of the inn.

Written by:
Brett Meyer
Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Key to Paradise

Howdy key lovers!

        In celebration of our first day of "Summer in the Keys," today's key comes from an island just off the coast of Florida.  In fact, it is the key to the city of Key West.  You might say it's a key to a Key!

Front of the key to Key West, donated by Stuart Miller.

Back of the key to Key West, which includes a thermometer.

        The island of Key West is only about 4.2 square miles in size, but this small island holds many great treasures!  Some may not know, but Key West has a rich history beginning in precolonial times.  The earliest records of the island indicate that it was occupied by the Calusa people before conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon claimed the territory in the name of Spain in 1521.  The first name given to the island by the Spanish was Cayo Hueso, which literally means "Bone Island".  The Spanish chose this name because they discovered that the Calusa people had been using the island as a communal graveyard and they found the remains of thousands of the island's deceased natives upon their arrival.

        Although Great Britain held a short claim to the island of Key West, it was primarily under the ownership of Spain.  In 1815, the island was given to Spanish navy officer Juan Pablo Salas by the governor of Cuba.  After Florida became part of the United States in 1821, the island passed into the hands of  John Simonton, an American private businessman.  The island was desired by many because of its strategic location for shipping between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.  In fact, the island became known as the Gibraltar of the West because of its access to such large amounts of commerce.

Sign in Key West depicting its strategic location for commerce.

        A few years later, Fort Zachary Taylor, an American naval base, was built on Key West.  Because of the presence of the naval base on the island prior to 1861, Key West remained part of the Union during the American Civil War despite Florida's decision to secede and join the Confederacy.  Key West was in some ways "key" to the success of the Union army.  The Union's control over much of the South's salt production and its strategic location in the center of Southern commerce gave it the upper hand in the islands and the southern regions of Florida.

Fort Zachary Taylor, Union outpost during the Civil War.

Key West, the island paradise.

        By 1889, Key West was Florida's largest and most affluent city.  Today, Key West serves as a popular vacation destination for thousands of tourists each year.  Its gorgeous landscape and tropical climate make it a perfect getaway for individuals and families all over the United States, so it's not surprising that tourism remains the main driver of the city's economy.  Key West also has a historic district where guests can enjoy the history of some of the island's first structures.  Here at the Baldpate Inn, we are delighted to own the key to this little slice of paradise.  Come visit us in our mountain paradise to see this key to a Key, and make sure you stop in to check out our "Summer in the Keys" event going on until Tuesday, July 18th!

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

Key West History

Key West
Key West Attractions
Fort Zachary Taylor

Friday, July 14, 2017

Key to a Defeated Race & New Beginnings

Howdy key lovers!

        Today's key takes us back to the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the 1500s and the defeat of the mighty South American Inca Empire by Francisco Pizarro.  This key unlocks a monastery in Cusco, Peru, and the key was crafted by the followers of Francisco Pizarro in the early 1500s.

Key to a monastery in Cusco, Peru, donated by
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Gates.

        Cusco, sometimes spelled Cuzco, is a city in the Peruvian Andes that was once the capital of the ancient Inca Empire.  The famous Inca citadel known as Machu Picchu (you may have heard of it!) is located just outside the city of Cusco.  The city was acquired by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro after his army defeated and dismantled the Inca Empire in 1532.  The battle started when the Inca emperor, Atahualpa, refused to pay tribute to the King of Spain.  The Inca Emperor, who boasted an army of 50,000 men, felt confident that Pizarro's force of just 110 foot soldiers and 67 cavalrymen was no match for his enormous Inca military.  However, enraged at Atahualpa's refusal to pay tribute to the Spanish Emperor, Charles V, Pizarro attacked the Inca Emperor.  The Spanish successfully captured Atahualpa and his 12 closest advisers.  All were executed, bringing an end to the powerful Inca Empire.

Stamp depicting Francisco Pizarro and a map of Peru to
commemorate the 500th anniversary of discovering
the Americas.

City street in Cusco, Peru.

        In the early 16th Century, the national religion of Spain was the Roman Catholic religion, and the Spanish always made it a point to bring Catholicism with them to all the colonies they established in the New World.  After the Spanish defeated the Inca, they built monasteries and cathedrals as places of worship for the Spanish clergymen and settlers.  Our key opens the doors to one such monastery built by the Spaniards in the conquered city.

While we do not know the exact monastery to which our key belongs,
this is an example of a monastery built by the Spanish in Cusco, Peru.

        Today, this key hangs in the Baldpate Key Room as a symbol of a once mighty empire lost to the world.  It also represents the birth of a new civilization in Latin America and the introduction of a new religious culture in the region.  Overall, this key embodies just one of the historically meaningful events that we wish to learn about and preserve here at the Baldpate.  Come visit us in the Key Room to see this incredible ancient key and many others like it!

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



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Keys to a Happy Marriage

Hey everyone!

I have a really cool story to share with you today!

The keys donated on the happy couple's wedding date 1990

Colorado natives Elizabeth and Whitney Childs-Goodrich have a wonderful and memory filled history with the Baldpate Inn.  They made one of their first big memories with us in 1990 when they got married in our beloved key room, commemorating their special day with two keys to hang in the Colorado section of our rafters. The keys pictured above are the two donated on the day of their wedding and have been hanging ever since.

Photos from Elizabeth and Whitney's
 wedding in 1990 

Another huge milestone celebrated at the Inn was when Elizabeth found out she was expecting their second child while staying with us. Earlier this week, the whole family returned this past Fourth of July and shared their story with the staff and told us that on a past visit they had been unable to locate their wedding keys. Thanks to our database and some help from our intern Jessica, we were able to find the wedding keys and the whole family posed with them outside the Inn to give a happy ending to the Fourth of July.

The Childs-Goodrich family poses with their
wedding key on the Fourth of July, 2017

There’s so many wonderful stories here in the key room just like this one, so why don’t you come find one for yourself, or even start a story of your own! 

Written by: 
Victoria Witkowski, Museum Curator 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Key of Life

Hello everyone!

Today I found a really amazing key that comes to us all the way from Egypt! This key is labeled as “The Key of Life” and is from a hotel room from the Shepeard’s Hotel in Cairo. It’s dated from March 1921, making it one of the older keys in our collection. This beautiful ivory key was brought to us by Felix VanCleff and is mostly likely one of our earliest acquired keys.

Key donated by Felix VanCleff in March of 1921

The symbol found on this key is one that is important to the Egyptian culture, meaning “life” and also being very closely related to deities. Many pharaohs and gods are depicted holding this looped cross, named Ankh, in ancient hieroglyphics. The origin of it are unknown as it is such an ancient symbol, but two popular theories include that it is shaped like a sandal because they share the same word root and sandals were vital to Egyptian life, which was fitting as it was a symbol for life. The other theory is that it is modeled after the goddess Isis’ belt buckle, as she is often a symbol of fertility, which is closely related to life. Both of these are accepted among scholars and provide insight into ancient life.

Ancient Egyptian statue holding an ankh in each hand

We have keys from all corners the world here at the Baldpate, so why don’t you come down and check them out for yourself! 

Written by: 
Victoria Witkowski, Museum Curator


Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Deutschland Submarine

Happy July everyone!

Starting today, the first week in July, and continuing throughout August, we will be focusing on a different decade each week to commemorate all that has happened throughout the last 100 years of the Baldpate’s history. During this time, blog posts will focus on either keys or Baldpate history from a particular decade. This first week starts with the 1920s, just a few years after the Baldpate opened.

However, this first blog will go back slightly further, to when the Baldpate first opened, and focus on a key that represents a major world event at the time of our opening, WWI. As many of you know, WWI lasted from 1914 to 1918 in which the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) fought against the Allied Powers (Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the U.S.)¹. Even though the United States and Germany were on opposing sides, it did not stop trade between the two super powers. Despite blockades attempting to stifle trade, the North German Lloyd Line developed away around this by building the “Deutschland,” a cargo submarine for which we are fortunate enough to have obtained the key.

The “Deutschland” was one of the first UA-class boats built, later known as U-boats, but it was unarmed and intended only to carry cargo. The submarine was used for high-value trans-Atlantic trade, which it accomplished by diving to avoid British patrols. On its first trip in 1916, it arrived in Baltimore carrying dyes, medicines, and gemstones. It made another trip to the U.S., this time to New London, Connecticut, which turned out to be its last. By 1917, relations between the U.S. and Germany had further deteriorated forcing the “Deutchland” to be converted for war duty as an armed submarine. After the war, it was brought to England as a war trophy before finally being dismantled in 1921².

The "Deutschland" in Baltimore Harbor, 1916.

The "Deutschland" in New London, 1916.

It is interesting how, despite war, countries continue to interact to make sure their economies flourish. Without keys like this one, this realization would be lost to history. Stop by our Key Room today and see if you can find a key that unlocks a piece of history. Also, be sure to check back here the rest of this week to learn more about the history surrounding decade when our inn first opened

Written by:
Brett Meyer
Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Thursday, June 29, 2017

From Indiana to Colorado; One of the Many Keys at Baldpate

Good afternoon everyone!

The key donated by the 21 graduating senior of Arsenal Techincal High School in Indiana

Today’s key comes to us all the way from Indianapolis, Indiana. This key was brought to us in 1936 by the graduating senior class of the same year at Arsenal Technical High School. These seniors passed this key along to the Baldpate Inn because it was used in their own production of Seven Keys to Baldpate, which they put on in their auditorium on November 22, 1935.

The novel that we’re named after and that the play is modeled around was written in 1913, with the play being written soon after that. Earl Derr Biggers actually came to stay with us here at the Baldpate and while he was wondering about our lodge, he told the Mace family that it was exactly how he imagined the lodge in his book! Thus we were given our wonderful name. 

Our own Millennium edition of the infamous novel 

Here at the Baldpate Inn, we’ve put on many productions of the beloved George M. Cohen play adaption of the novel, and in honor our 100th birthday, we’re putting it on once again. The play starts this Friday and will run for the next three weekends, so be sure to come on down to the Baldpate and check it out!  Give our front desk a call or check out our website for show times and ticket prices at 970.586.5397 or 

Written by: 
Victoria and Jessica, Museum Curators 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Key to Practices of the Past

Hello key enthusiasts!

Today’s key carries a more somber tone, but provides an insight into an interesting piece of New York history. The key originates from the town of Hillsdale in Columbia County, New York. This area of New York was very active during the Revolutionary War and, when the war ended, the town of Hillsdale was founded in 1790. This region continued to play an important role in war as would be seen later in the Civil War.

Key to Hillsdale vault 

However, even before the town was officially founded, there were people staying on this land. As is the course of life, people died and sometimes this occurred during the winter months when the ground was too frozen to dig the graves. Before the introduction of morgues and their ability to store bodies throughout the winter, the people of Columbia County and the town of Hillsdale stored their deceased in a vault in the ground until they were able to be buried in the spring. This key opened the “tomb in which they placed the bodies.”

Attached letter explaining the key's significance

As the attached note says, once spring came, a mass funeral was held that could involve up to twelve funerals at once. With the prominence of war in this region, it is possible that this number could be even larger. Despite the morbid nature of this key, it gives an interesting perspective on how people lived before the advent of modern conveniences. Come visit our Key Room and see if you can find any other keys that unlock the past.

Written by:
Brett Meyer
Museum Curator, Baldpate Inn


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Small Key to a Big Piece of History

Howdy key lovers!

          Next week I will be going on an adventure to Washington DC!  In anticipation of my trip, and in celebration of our nation’s birthday next week, today’s key is from the capital city herself!  It is the key to the men’s restroom at the White House!

Key to the Men’s Room at the White House, donated by
Mark Luke Davis III.

          While somewhat comical, this key also holds great significance to our nation’s history.  In 1791, George Washington chose the site for the White House, and the cornerstone of the building was laid in 1792.  However, the original building was burned by the British during the War of 1812, and reconstruction began around the end of 1814.  In 1817, President Monroe was able to move into the new residence with his family, and a few additions were made to the building over the following ten years.  After Teddy Roosevelt took office, he chartered large scale renovations to the White House, including a move of the President’s Office from the second floor to what is now known as the West Wing.  Another important change was the construction of the Oval Office during President Taft’s administration.  In 1901, Teddy Roosevelt officially named the President’s home “The White House”.  In the early 1950s, it was discovered that the White House was suffering from serious structural issues.  The entire house was renovated during the Truman administration and everything except the outer walls was demolished and rebuilt.

Drawing of the White House in 1792 by James Hoban.

Reconstructed White House after it was burned during the
War of 1812 (photograph taken in 1901).

Martin Luther King and Lyndon B. Johnson meeting in the Oval Office
of the White House in 1963.

Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher meeting on the
White House lawn in 1987.

George W. Bush giving his Farewell Address from the East Room of the
White House in 2009.

          Today, the White House has 35 bathrooms…and we have the key to one of them!  I cannot wait to see this incredible portion of American history for myself next week; and as for you, come visit us at the Baldpate Key Room to see our little key to a big piece of history!

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


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

Second image: 
Third image: