Day 2 Continued:
I learned some interesting history at the ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel today. I’m not so sure how much of the haunted part I believe (though, I do have an unexplainable shadow in one of my photos), but the history was fascinating!
First of all, Freelan Oscar Stanley (F.O. or Freel) had a twin brother named Francis Edgar Stanley (F.E. or Frank). When they were 5 years old, their father gave them each a carving knife – something we all dream of giving our 5-year-olds. Right? Well, these genius little boys started carving toys from wood and selling them for a penny a piece. By the end of the year, they had made $5.00. That’s a lot of toys! Another interesting hobby they had was making concert quality violins by hand. The Stanley violin is still one of the most sought after violins in the world.
Like me, many of you probably only know F.O. for the Stanley Steamer automobile. I was surprised to lear that he and his brother had a history in photography! F.E. patented the airbrush in 1876 and was a portrait artist. The brothers became partners in the Stanley Dry Plate Company in 1884. The dry plate process put an end to sitting perfectly still for 20-30 minutes for a portrait (no wonder they didn’t smile). Although they were grossing nearly $1 million per year at the turn of the century with this business (eat that Bill Gates), they sold this company to Eastman Kodak in 1904. Learning this, of course, intensified my obsession with the Stanley history and that fabulous hotel!
So about that striking white Georgean style hotel with the red roof… It was originally a mustard yellow. The biggest change, though, was to the MacGragor Room. If you were to peek in this room off the left end of the lobby as a tourist, you’d never guess that it was changed for Stephen King’s The Shining mini-series. This room and the lobby were originally the same yellow and white color scheme as the Music Room. Hollywood didn’t feel this was scary enough. The stage was added to the MacGregor Room, too, which is where you can see Stephen King standing in a cameo role in the mini-series. That’s exactly where we sat to listen to the tour guide for a bit.
It is true that Stephen King found inspiration for his novel while staying at the hotel – room 217 to be exact. However, he had already written an entire novel while he was a teacher at CU Boulder. His publisher thought it was a bit over the top, though, and recommended rewriting. Stephen King, over the top? Shocker! He stayed just one night at the Stanley, then he completely rewrote the novel that we now know as The Shining, got it approved and published, and it hit number one all within two months.
The history behind room 217 involves the head housekeeper. There was a gas leak, and when she went to light the gas lamp, there was such an explosion that the whole front of that side of the hotel blew out. The housekeeper was forced down a floor into the MacGregor Room and survived. Her legs were badly broken, but she was otherwise fine. F.O. visited her in the hospital and offered her a raise and to put her children through college. Apparently, she is still working there and has unpacked and neatly put away guests’ clothing.
The fourth floor actually has even more paranormal activity. This was the floor used for the children of guests and their nannies. Many guests today call down to the desk to complain about children running up and down the hall laughing, even when there are none even staying on the floor! The tour guide described room 401 as a room a room with probably the most paranormal activity. Lord Dunraven often hangs out in room 407.
See more photos of the tour here. I also made a slideshow (below). Click “pause” when it opens to click through at your own pace.
|This digital scrapbooking design created with Smilebox
I still want to go back with Greg sometime (just the two of us) and stay overnight so we can do the late-night tour. No one uder 18 is allowed on that one.
I was able to get internet connection for about 3 minutes on my own laptop last night. I thought I found the right spot to be, but it was short-lived. Since I didn’t bring a flash drive either, I still can’t share any photos.
Woke up on our own today – no alarms! Bliss! I thought about heading to Rocky Mountain National Park right away, but decided to just relax. I looked through the game selection and pulled out Monolopy Millennium Edition. We played for a while and left to go into town. We ate lunch and strolled the town. The only thing we bought was salt-water taffy (and have subsequently eaten far too much of it). The crowd and traffic continued to thicken, so we decided to just stop at the grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner and snacks and just head back to the house. We did stop at Colorado Cherry Company to get a cherry pie for desert, too. It’s right across the street from the entrance to this subdivision! [Note: the link shows the one on Hwy 34 in Loveland, but the one here on Hwy 36 doesn't have its own website.]
When we got back to the house, we continued with our game of Monopoly until we just drifted away from it and lost interest. I ended up with the most money. Ali and I had about the same number of deeds. And now Miranda has a cool glass backgammon game set up waiting to play, so I’m going to go do that now!
Not a lot of exciting things to write about today, but every vacation needs some down time – at least I think so. I don’t like to get home and feel like I need a vacation to recover from vacation!