The Baldpate Inn, nestled in Estes Park, Colorado, is home to more than 20,000 keys. They’ve been receiving donations since World War II, which is how they’ve managed to collect keys to some pretty amazing locations – places that seem very far away from the little Colorado town.
The keys are organized by state and by country, and they include openers to Westminster Abbey, Mozart’s wine cellar, Frankenstein’s Castle, and even Hitler’s bunker. Stateside, they’ve got keys to the Pentagon and the White House bathroom, and probably some others they’re not allowed to put on display.
Most of the keys have been left by guests, and if you visit you can leave one, too. The collection is inspired by a novel written in 1913 called The Seven Keys to Baldpate, a story about a man who visits the (fictional, at the time) Baldpate Inn. Keys are a key (heh) element of the story, so when the owners of the current Estes Park lodge picked out a name, they chose Baldpate and decided to honor the importance of keys in the story.
They adopted the story, and now their little inn holds an obscure – but charming – world record.
Life is weird. So is this key collection, but now it’s 100% on my list of places to visit.
h/t: Atlas Obscura
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