I occasionally receive interesting emails concerning Estemere, so I thought I'd share some of them (with the sender's permission, of course)!
From: "Steven Williams" <WilliamsS@nasm.si.edu>
Sent: Friday, May 17, 2002 2:12 PM
Subject: Estemere, Nininger, the Smithsonian, and our "Small World"
I surfed up your "Estemere" site while looking for information about H.H.Nininger, the famous meteorite finder and popularizer of the 1930's and 40's.
It is a small world. My wife and I are familiar with the Palmer Lake area, having just moved from the Colorado Springs area a few months ago. I am now at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, so I noticed your discussions with American History about the first digital watch (on your website) with amused interest. I am preparing a museum Discovery Station about meteorites, hence my interest in Dr. Nininger.
Another connection: I did my graduate work at Arizona State University. Our geology department has a section called the Center for Meteorite Studies (http://meteorites.asu.edu), which has the collection of meteorites collected by Dr. Nininger. But meteorites were not the only things he bequeathed us; we
also got his 1964 Ford pickup and Alaskan camper, the last of the vehicles he and his wife used to tour the country searching for meteorites. I spent many a pleasant (but warm!) evening in the "Meteor Truck" conducting fieldwork in the Mojave Desert looking at terrestrial analogs to Martian features.
Yet another connection: Like Dr. Nininger and Doris and John Banks, my parents now live in Sedona! I was also amused by your story of coming to Palmer Lake. I miss Colorado already!
Sorry for taking up your time and email space. Thank you for your time and good luck with your restoration!
Dr. Steven H. Williams
Museum Program Specialist, Educational Services
National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution P-700 MRC 305
Washington, DC 20013-7012
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jennie Bainter" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2002 3:25 PM
In early 1958 we moved from Seattle, Washington to Palmer Lake, and rented a little house directly up the hill, behind the estate. As a child with no
one to play with, I gravitated towards the estate. At that time it was owned by a retired couple with a mentally handicapped son who would visit
them often. I would spend my days (when not in school) roaming the house from top to bottom. The only two places I was not allowed to go to, was up
the ladder to the widows walk in the tower, and down into the basement (at lease not without escort) to look at the stone wall that was erected to
block the old escape tunnel to the carriage house. Word was that the escape tunnel was built by Dr. Thompson to placate his wife because of the Indian
wars shortly before the house was built.
I loved to sit at the window seats in the glass room by the trap door into the tower base and read my books and look out at the town. There was a
record player set up in the round room, which was called the Music Room at the time, and I'd just dance around in it, imagining ballet lessons being
given in that room. I loved the ball room back behind the library. I remember when the next owners (the Delgado's) had the home and the man was a
painter. He painted frescos on the ceiling of the ball room. The library fascinated me with all the floor to ceiling bookshelves and the pocket doors
on each side of the room. The entire room was a pretty dark wood. The kitchen was very homey. They even used the old wood cook stove, though
not for baking. The porch room off the kitchen still had the wood cabinets that they used to put the huge blocks of ice in many years ago. I don't
know if the small buildings behind the kitchen and porch are still there, but I was told those were servants quarters. There was also a separate
apartment off the back right side of the house (when you face it) that could only be reached by going through the library and ball room or outside on the
The chapel was only used for peacocks when I lived there, and there was just junk in the carriage house (no apartment or anything). The cottage near
there was used off and on for various caretakers.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Pixley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Roger and Kimberly Ward" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 1:38 PM
Subject: Resend: Night Tour of Estemere
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Ward,
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 3:50 PM
Subject: A sincere thank you!
I did take a few moments to go to the web site and was amazed at what you had retained from all the conglomeration of memories we dug back into the cobwebs of our minds for!! What a special day it was for us. Thank you so very much!!!
I also took another look at some of the other information on the web site and discovered some interesting information in the "Pamphlet" titled "Rocky Mountain Association". There is a paragraph titled "The Lodge" and right next to it, one titled "Other Buildings" which reads "Cottage with beds for 12....CABIN---THREE ROOMS---BEDS FOR SIX. Am sure it was
referring to the missing cabin. Didn't remember it had three rooms....only that it was small and we rented it out.
I also noticed that in some of the earlier pictures, the front steps ended at the house and extended out onto lawn and wondered when the wide walkway and steps that formed the beautiful entry up to the house were added (that went down to the road below the rock wall ??)
There was also mention somewhere on the website about the large painting of the Indians and it stated that it had probably gone to the bank as part of the debt recovery. I know that the painting was there when we bought the house and when we sold it to Mrs. Dees. We all remembered it well. It was a beautiful painting and would love to know where it is today. There was also a very nice picture depicting cupids which remained with the house, and almost all the furnishings (including the piano, billiard table, dining table, some wicker, etc.) Mother felt those things belonged with the house. The only thing I remember us taking with us was some beds and a large wicker rocker. Perhaps the Dees family, if there are any still living, could shed some light on what might have happened to some of the things. It would be nice for you to know where some of them went.
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
I also noticed that you had lived in Loveland at one time. We lived in Loveland for four years prior to moving to Parker this spring. It has grown so much but still a wonderful little town. Were sorry to leave it, but wanted to be closer to our children and grandchildren. We lived north of the lake off of Taft and 43rd which I'm sure was only fields when you lived there. Like Palmer Lake, (and Parker) it is succumbing to the ever burgeoning growth in Colorado! There are many wonderful sculptors in Loveland as well as several well known places there that do
casting, It might be a place to look for help with the cupid with the melted foot :-( Best wishes with the continuing renovation of your home. It is beautiful and Kim has done a wonderful job of combining the new with the old! Hope you find there was a well!! Byron (my husband) reminded me that the hand pump could have been a way to retrieve water from a cistern as well as from a well, but have trouble visualizing all the water for the houses and grounds all came from only a cistern! Wouldn't it be wonderful to find the original blueprints someday!!!!
You have done a wonderful job on the whole website! Thanks!!!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 7:23 PM
biography of Eben Smith, and I just happened to come across your site. I'm
glad to know that you are taking such good care of the house. Many years ago
my dad and I drove by it after attending a football game at the Air Force
Academy, and it looked pretty bad at the time. Little did I know then at the
age of 12 that I would be writing a biography of the man that used to own it.
There are a couple of things I wanted to point out to you. Eben Smith's wife
was Emily, not Emma. There has been some confusion about this, but he refers
to her in his letters as Emily and that is what it says on her marker in the
family mausoleum at Fairmount Cemetery. Also, in the pictures that you have
showing Eben Smith with what might be the Carnahan children, if it is fact
these children in the pictures the girl's name was Doris. Also, I was
wondering if it might be possible to get a copy of this picture and the one
including Cora Carnahan. Pictures of these people are pretty hard to come
by, and I would like to include them in my biography if I could.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 10:21 PM
Subject: Re: Estemere
As far as why I chose Eben Smith for my thesis, it actually has more to do
with his son than him. His son built a mansion on the corner of 18th and
York Streets here in Denver and ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated
by the house. Over the years I kept learning all I could about the history
of the house and the family, which brought me to Eben, who was the most well
known member of the family. When it came time last year to chose a topic for
my thesis it just seemed like a good fit since so little has been written on
him. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) the
Denver Public Library has 22 boxes of his papers. The only bad part is that
they only go back to 1890, while his mining career goes back another 30 years
before that. I'm only about half way through all the papers, but I hope to
have my thesis completed some time this summer and I will be happy to get you
a copy of it to keep at Estemere.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 9:49 AM
Subject: Re: Estemere
1990 or 1991. I can say for sure that it was no later than 1993 though. I
wanted to take a picture of it then, but all we had was my dad's movie camera
for some reason. I don't know that I could find that tape now though. I
thought the house looked like it was empty, and the yard needed a lot of work
done to it. We drove by it again about two years ago and it was amazing to
me how different it looked. You've certainly done a very nice job with it.
My name is Barbara Bunney, I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado and currently live in Lubbock, Texas. Estemere was a part of my childhood. My mom also grew up in Colorado Springs, her best friend was Joan Follmer Leonard. I grew up knowing her as Aunt Joan and her husband Don, as Uncle Don. I was about 10 years old when Uncle Don bought that "cool old house" in Palmer Lake. My brother and I were thrilled as we would be able to see more of Aunt Joan and Uncle Don and not have to go to Lincoln, Nebraska. I remember the first project was to clean out the carriage house and get the inside painted. One would think that 5 kids, my younger brother and I and Aunt Joan and Uncle Don's 3 boys, Jimmy, Bill and John would love to have the chance to paint a wall. No. We wanted to escape the ever watchful eye of Grammy Follmer and find out what was in the towers in that big ole house. Never made it past the front porch, Grandpa Bryce was really fast. The flood of 1965 did alot of damage to many parts of Colorado. The mud came off of the hills behind Estemere and took its toll. The kitchen floor collapsed, the shed behind the kitchen was filled to the top with dirt and mud. The 5 kids took turns wiggling through the window of the shed and scooping enough dirt out of the window so the rest could be shoveled. Grammy Follmer rewarded us with one scoop of ice cream and we were thrilled. After all of the repairs were made,. I do not remember many changes being made to the "Red Room" other than being able to tell where the mud came through. At this time my sister, Susan, was one year old, she was married in1986 on the grounds of Estemere. I believe that was the last time our family was there, together. I received the article in the Gazette Telegraph, from my mom, that you had bought the estate and was so happy to hear that someone who really cared about the house and the history were now the owners. I hope you have as many good memories as I have had through the years. Best wishes to you both.
Hi, I grew up in Palmer Lake. I am 42 now and my sister and I would always walk around the Estemere and admire it. My dad used to plow snow for them when we were young. We always wanted to go in and see it. I am so happy that you have restored her to her beauty. It would have been a shame if it wasn’t there anymore. I hope to bring my children up there to visit on one of your tours and finally get to see the home. I saw the article in the paper and it brought back great memories of growing up in Palmer Lake. I would love to be able to move back there someday. My parents sold our house in the Glen about 13 years ago. Enjoy Palmer Lake!!!! Denise Goolsby
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 12:40 PM
Subject: Re: Thanks for making a dream come true
Dear Mr. Ward,
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: Eben Smith
I'll try to get in touch with Jim Sawatzki in the in the next few days. I intended to talk to him sooner, but there's been a lot of stuff happen in my family over the last three months so I haven't been giving as much time to my Smith research as I was. Do you still have his email address? I know I have the card that you wrote all his information on, I just can't remember where I put it at the moment.
Also, I have managed to locate two more of Eben Smith's great-great granddaughters. One is Emmy Wilson's granddaughter, and it sounds like she has quite a bit of stuff related to the family. She is in the process of sorting through it for me. The other is a granddaughter of Emmy's sister Doris, and she actually lives in Colorado Springs. I'm going to meet with her at the beginning of June, and when I do I will give her your name and email address and tell her about the Estemere web site. That way if she is interested she can get in touch with you.
From: "Danette Ulrich" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 1:44 PM
Subject: The estemere
Dear Kimberly and Roger: