Home ] Background ]  [Dr. William Finley Thompson] [ Eric's and Crystal's Wedding ] Chronology ] Estemere 1901 ] 1890s-1940s ] Adams & Vessey -1935+ ] Blietz-1944-1950 ] Estemere 2001 ] Estemere Photos & Maps ] Roof 2002 ] [2005] [ Email ] Visitors ] Early Palmer Lake Photos ] Local Attractions ] Keys to Financial Success ] Links ] [Halloween 2006] [Chautauqua--Jim Sawatzki]




From sometime in 1944 until January 1950, Estemere was owned by William C. Blietz.  (Note that the Pitts book has his name as H. C. Bleitz.)  W.C. Blietz was a brickmason.  He was born in 1883.  His wife's name was Margaret.  Three of the Blietz children came to visit us at Estemere on 15 August 2002--Don Blietz (born 1939) and his wife Jill and daughter Naomi, David Blietz (born 1938) and his wife Mary Jane, and Gail Blietz Brookhart (born 31 December 1942).  Don is a vice-principal in Arvada, CO, while David is in the stucco business in Greeley, CO.

ARVADA, CO 80002

PARKER, CO 80138

Some of their recollections:

  1. Coal was dumped down the outside basement door.  The boys would stoke the coal-fired gravity flow furnace in the basement during the winter.  They took hot-water bottles to bed with them on cold nights.
  2. They took showers in what is now the Chapel.
  3. The Shed (we moved it from behind the kitchen) was called the "wood shed."
  4. The Cottage:  they don't remember it too much as it was always rented.
  5. There was a very small "cabin" on the NE corner of the rock wall that was rented.  It had an outhouse and either a well or cistern; Gail recalls hand-pumping water and drinking it from a ladle.
  6. W.C. built the building that now houses the B&E Restaurant near the lake.  He used it as a motel (it is very small) with three or four rooms and an office.  Since the only highway from Denver to Colorado Springs ran through Palmer Lake, in the winter travelers would often get stranded in a snowstorm and would stay at the motel.  When it was full, Don and Dave would take people to the Estemere to spend the night!  In the morning, Margaret would serve breakfast in the dining room.  The Blietz children would stay in any vacant room!
  7. Around 1946 or 1947 W.C. tore off half of the Carriage House.  Don didn't know what became of the lumber or why it was torn off, but Pitts says that the lumber was used to build the fourplex next to the B&E.  If so, I would surmise that the fourplex was used as motel rooms to supplement the motel (now the B&E).
  8. They remember that W.C. removed the original cedar-shake shingles from the roof of the main house and single-handedly re-roofed the house using asphalt shingles.  Indeed, when we tore off the four layers of asphalt shingles this summer, we found pieces of Wards Asphalt Shingles boxes nailed to the roof.  The boxes bore address labels to Wm. C. Blietz, Estemere, Palmer Lake, CO.  Color--Red.  
  9. The old kitchen was where it is currently located.  The old wood stove now in the Two-Car Garage was in the kitchen as the only cook stove.
  10. Based upon old snapshots supplied by Gail, it appears that W.C. tore off the two original porches on the second floor, along with the various finials and cresting on the roof gables.  (The Leonards replaced the porches around 1970 and we put up new cresting and finials this year.)
  11. The SW corner of what is now my "Radio Room" was a bathroom.  What is now our TV room was used as an extension dining room for overflow guests.
  12. Margaret often hosted Methodist Church groups from Denver for weekends.  Many spent the night.
  13. Croquet and lawn tennis were played on the SE and NE lawns, respectively.
  14. A nice garden was maintained on the lower section of Estemere between the rock wall and Gordon Biggs' house.
  15. The built-in drawers and shelves were not in the Dining Room--the space was open to the front entry.
  16. There were double French-doors between the Dining Room and the Parlor which were kept propped open.
  17. There were several mounted animal heads in the Billiard Room.
  18. The East Wing was a rental (perhaps with a kitchen) so they didn't go in there.
  19. They are fairly certain that the rococo moulding was on the Billiard Room ceiling.
  20. The Observatory ceiling was only blue with five-pointed gold stars (none of the over-painting we found).
  21. The second-floor old bathroom was laid out pretty much as it is now.
  22. The center bedroom was called the Red Room.
  23. David and Don would toss their pet chickens from the tower windows to see which would fly farther!
  24. W.C. would host up to 300 people in the Carriage House for political rallies.  Up to 100 cots were set up for overnighters.
  25. There was probably a hayloft in the Carriage House.
  26. Don recalls planting several fruit trees in what is now the Orchard.
  27. Additional information from an email from Gail:

William Charles Blietz was born Oct 8, 1883 and died Jan 31, 1961
Margaret MacIver Blietz was born Aug 28, 1906 and died Jan 23, 1989
Their five children:  
   David Blietz - May 7, 1938 - Greeley, Colorado
   Donald Blietz - August 4, 1939 - Arvada, Colorado
   Gail Blietz Brookhart - Dec 31, 1942 - Parker, Colorado
   Norman Blietz - Sept 3, 1945- Twenty Nine Palms, California
   Carol Blietz Weedman - Oct 6, 1948 - Victoria, Illinois

Here's the snapshots Gail loaned me to scan!  

WC40s.jpg (56808 bytes)
William C. Blietz early 1940s


DonGailNorm.jpg (55110 bytes)
Don, Gail, and Norm (in front)

P8150012.jpg (483185 bytes)
Don, Gail, and David Blietz
15 August 2002

david 1948.jpg (51486 bytes)
David 1946 ("Woodshed to the left, Kitchen behind him.)
GailNorm2.jpg (48344 bytes)
Norm and Gail
Gail Norm.jpg (55646 bytes)
Norm and Gail
GailWC45.jpg (67010 bytes)
Gail with W.C. 1945
WCGail45.jpg (65359 bytes)
WC and Gail 1945
Kids1947.jpg (80050 bytes)
David, Don, Norm, and Gail
1946.jpg (51006 bytes)
Blietz stationery.jpg (80314 bytes)
Blietz's stationery.


Estemere.jpg (62948 bytes)
"Estemere Lodge"


StarUnk.jpg (42405 bytes)
Star, colt "Fancy," and unknown people.
1946 Star.jpg (60981 bytes)
"Star" 1946
(Notice the "cabin" on the left-hand side.)
shack.jpg (44671 bytes)
The "Cabin"
(blow-up from Star photo on the left)