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Two newlyweds named Gordon and Ethel Mace acquired this property in 1911 and built a log cabin there. With the tourist industry booming in Estes Park, they built an inn for visitors and opened it in 1917. It was named for the mystery novel Seven Keys to Baldpate by Earl Derr Biggers. The author visited the property, and said that it was so similiar to the inn in his book that it should become the "real" Baldpate Inn. In his book, the travelers to the inn each thought that they had the only key to the establishment, so in keeping with the story line of the novel, the Mace family gave each visitor to the Inn their very own key. The Maces practiced this tradition until World War I when the cost of metal rose so steeply, they could no longer afford to give away keys. When this happened, their loyal guests started a custom of bringing a key with them to leave at the inn, which started the famous "Key Room," which holds over 20,000 keys. Keys from Westminster Abby, Mozartís wine cellar, the Pentagon and even Frankensteinís castle adorn the room.

Some say that Gordon and Ethel continue to hang around at their old Inn, but in a spiritual fashion. Staff and guests say that Ethel has haunted her old room for years and particularly likes spending time in the Key Room. She also likes to sit in a wing-backed rocker before a fireplace that is now located in a storage room. Her feet up, she is said to sit in the rocker reading the bible.

Evidently, Ethel was opposed to drinking because visitors have seen mixed drinks spill over by themselves, while others have had a tendency to fly off of tables. Gordonís pet peeve, on the other hand, is evidently smoking. Though the lodge does not allow smoking, if a guest does in fact light up a cigarette, something smashes it or their cigarette packs come up missing.

Baldpate Inn is now run by the Smith family, who purchased the inn in 1986. Only the second family to ever own the inn, the Smiths continue to welcome guests in the same fashion as the Maces. The 12-room lodge is open from Memorial Day to October 1 each year and is located at 4900 South Highway 7 in Estes Park.

The Baldpate Inn
4900 South Hwy. 7
Estes Park, CO 80517
www.baldpateinn.com


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