Saturday, February 25, 2017

Day 12: Key Room Archives American History Savers

How do you thank someone who has done immeasurable work for you year after year?  Especially when it was all volunteer! 

I hardly recall the first time Marie (Mack) Robb visited Baldpate with her students from Euphoria State, but after chatting with her about our Key Room, at some point she offered to help us with our long procrastinated curation of Baldpate’s treasures.

Marie assembled an all-star team for Baldpate’s project which began in the spring of 2005.

·       Brian, our Head Archivist from Portland OR
·       Leann, Archivist from Vancouver WA
·       Jill, Archivist from Vancouver WA
·       Devin, software consultant, designed our original searchable database
·       Steve, took on untold handyman projects

The first couple of years, Marie and her team focused on the boxes and boxes of "stuff" we had put in "storage" when we first cleaned out the Library to open in 1987.

When we purchased the Inn in 1986, the library was waist deep in old unorganized boxes of stuff. We piled most behind a fake wall we built on the south end of the library just so we could update the room and offer the library as a gathering place for guests.  Most didn’t even notice the fake wall.  

Not sure exactly what year we removed that wall to make more space, but then the boxes moved to one of our outbuildings, still unsorted.


Eventually Marie’s gang donned gloves and masks to sort through all this stuff (several times over the past ten years) and better preserve what should be kept and discard what was really just trash. We discovered scrapbooks of photos, business records, old letters and cards, Ethel Mace’s early diaries, and you name it. 

The next project the team tackled was our photo collection, carefully documenting each photo, researching to identify each image not only in the Dining Rooms but throughout the entire Lodge. Each photo and frame was restored as best as possible. Steve worked diligently to create small coffee table reference albums that our guests have enjoyed for years.  Check them out next time you visit!

Marie’s team varied each year with more help to include Mary, LeRoy, Pam, Joann, Kimber, Adam, Nancy, Cheryl & Tom who all became the workhorses and conquered the Key Room database project. We invite you to view their blog from 2009-10 documenting some highlights of their time at The Baldpate Inn. 

Thousands and thousands of Keys & Artifacts have been painstakingly deciphered and databased in the past 15 years! The information that they provided has helped us develop our Key Room Blog, sharing interesting facts and findings with you. 

Written by Lois Smith

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