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.
DON and JILL BLIETZ
9359 GRANDVIEW AVE
ARVADA, CO 80002
GAIL BLIETZ BROOKHART
11647 LAUREL LANE
PARKER, CO 80138
Some of their recollections:
- 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
- They took showers in what is now the Chapel.
- The Shed (we moved it from behind the kitchen) was called
the "wood shed."
- The Cottage: they don't remember it too much as it
was always rented.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Margaret often hosted Methodist Church groups from Denver
for weekends. Many spent the night.
- Croquet and lawn tennis were played on the SE and NE lawns,
- A nice garden was maintained on the lower section of
Estemere between the rock wall and Gordon Biggs' house.
- The built-in drawers and shelves were not in the Dining
Room--the space was open to the front entry.
- There were double French-doors between the Dining Room and
the Parlor which were kept propped open.
- There were several mounted animal heads in the Billiard
- The East Wing was a rental (perhaps with a kitchen) so they
didn't go in there.
- They are fairly certain that the rococo moulding was on the
Billiard Room ceiling.
- The Observatory ceiling was only blue with
five-pointed gold stars (none of the over-painting we found).
- The second-floor old bathroom was laid out pretty much as
it is now.
- The center bedroom was called the Red Room.
- David and Don would toss their pet chickens from the tower
windows to see which would fly farther!
- W.C. would host up to 300 people in the Carriage House for
political rallies. Up to 100 cots were set up for overnighters.
- There was probably a hayloft in the Carriage House.
- Don recalls planting several fruit trees in what is now the
- Additional information from an email from Gail:
William Charles Blietz was born Oct 8, 1883 and died Jan 31,
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!
William C. Blietz early 1940s
Don, Gail, and Norm (in front)
Don, Gail, and David Blietz
15 August 2002
David 1946 ("Woodshed to the left,
Kitchen behind him.)
Norm and Gail
Norm and Gail
Gail with W.C. 1945
WC and Gail 1945
David, Don, Norm, and Gail
Star, colt "Fancy," and unknown
(Notice the "cabin" on the left-hand side.)
(blow-up from Star photo on the left)