Baldpate Inn

More From Colorado

The original owners are enjoying their after-life and their special collection.



It has been described as having “simple rustic charm, with it’s relaxing environment geared for hikers and true nature lovers.”

Baldpate Inn sits on 12.8 acres, and is a rather large mountain lodge. Its website states: “Our twelve main lodge guest rooms, four cabins and historic Homestead are decorated with mountain country flair complete with handmade quilts and dust ruffles of calicos and ginghams. There are 16 beds, 18 full bathrooms and 4 partial bathrooms. Many of our rooms have spectacular views of the surrounding area while our cabins are set in the pine and aspen forest.”

Baldpate Inn’s architectural style has been classified by The National Register for Historic Places as being basically the “Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements.” Owners have been careful to restore its unique architecture for which it was honored for as a historical set of buildings.

The total square footage of the inn and its buildings is 25,893 sq. feet. Besides the main Baldpate Inn structure, there is a guest ranch, original homestead house, library, staff quarters, lake access, guest house, hardwood flooring, caretaker house, 41 fireplaces.

In the Baldpate Inn’s dining room, on display are photos of autographed well-known people taken by Charles and Stuwart Mace, the professional photographers of the family. Stuart died in Colorado from an illness in 1920, but both his work and work of brother Charles still bring joy to guests.

On display in this special Hall of Fame are pictures of “U.S. presidents (Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, George Bush), movie celebrities, (Lana Turner, Jean Harlow, Roy Rogers), captains of industry (Henry Ford, Randolph Hearst), folk heroes (Wild Bill Cody, Weston the Walker), and world renowned figures (Thomas Edison, Tetrazinni, Jack London).”


Ethel and Gordon Mace married in 1911, and decided to go on their honeymoon to Estes Park, Colorado. They fell in love with the area, and decided to homestead a piece of land. Along with Gordon’s two brothers, photographers Charles and Stewart, they built a small cabin, and planted crops of rhubarb to fulfill the requirements of the Homestead Act. To bring in some needed funds, the Mace family built a few little cabins for tourists to stay while on a holiday in Estes Park. Because of the huge demand for these cabins, they decided to build an inn, after their Homestead patent was complete in January of 1917.

Using the wood from trees and stones they had on their property, they built themselves an inn, using their own skills in woodwork and construction. At the suggestion of a visitor, author Earl Derr Biggers, they named their Inn after Biggers imaginary Inn in his book, Seven Keys to Baldpate. In the spirit of the story in this novel, the Maces gave each guest a key to take home with them. Their guests also gave them some interesting keys in return; some becoming competitive with each other to find the most collectable key to give to Ethel and Gordon.

The first key donated to Ethel and Gordon was a key from guest, Clarence Darrow, in 1923. Over the years, Ethel and Gordon’s collection of celebrity keys grew to over 12,000 and includes Edgar Allen Poe’s dorm room key; (number 13), and Stephen King’s key to the hotel room where he wrote his book, The Shining.

This tradition of giving their guests a key ended during World War Two, because the cost of metal skyrocketed. However, their loyal guests continued to bring them keys, which added to Baldpate’s considerable key collection.

The Baldpate Inn opened in 1917, offering “such amenities as hot running water, electric lights, and indoor plumbing!” The Baldpate Inn enjoyed many years in business, and even continued on after Ethel and Gordon passed over into spirit form. The Mace family continued to run The Baldpate Inn until the Smiths bought it in 1986.

In 1996, The Baldpate Inn was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, thanks to the work done by the Smiths. They were dedicated owners who loved the inn and did their best in taking care of it.

During the winter of 2016, Baldpate Inn was fixed up on a grander scale. Their publicity read, “the historic homestead will be completely renovated by Spring of 2016.” After thirty years of being the owners of Balpate Inn, the Smith family was ready to retire.

Baldpate Inn, as of May of 2016, was for sale for 3,975,000 dollars, under Sotheby’s Realty. After 30 years, it is time for someone else to take the torch and run the Baldpate Inn. They will have the friendly spirits of Ethel and Gordon to keep them company with positive support.



Spirits who love their place of business while alive, sometimes don’t want to retire to the spirit world but choose to stay in their beloved place where they worked for so many years. They like to enjoy their memories as well.

Ethel and Gordon Mace ran their beloved Baldpate Inn for many years. When treasured items of spirits are kept in places of this world, these treasures can act like an environmental trigger that draws the former owners in spirit form. Ethel and Gordon had a rather large key collection, including some rather unique and valuable keys.

Two entities: Ethel and Gordon Mace

Both spirits have been seen by both staff and guests, puttering around the halls in the inn.

Ethel enjoys visiting her old room where she stayed. She sits in her rocking chair, reading her Bible. She keeps an eye on the guests who stay in her room, though she is willing to share it.

Both spirits visit the old store room, known now as the key room, where they visit their favorite keys in their lifetime collection; 20,000 keys to be exact.


Most Probably so! The many experiences reported over the years points to the first owners in spirit form, Ethel and Gordon still enjoying their Baldpate Inn.

There have been many reports of the above experiences by staff, owners and guests alike. No hard evidence has been published on-line. Investigators are probably not allowed to come in and gather evidence because it is well known that it is Ethel and Gordon keeping the living company and enjoying their most cherished place in this world.



4900 South Highway 7
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
(970) 586-6151


Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Our Photos are copyrighted by Tom Carr

Visit the memorable… Milwaukee Haunted Hotel


  • Haunted Places: The National Directory
    By Dennis William Hauck
    Colorado section – Penguin Books, 2002

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr


Your Paranormal Road Trip

Your Road Trip to Milwaukee’s Hot Spots




A Sunday Drive: The Baldpate Inn’s keys to success

Bald Pate Inn

Haunts in Colorado