SITE LOCATION: Louisville, Colorado
CONTACT FOR SITE: Garrett McCarthy
740 Front Street
Louisville, CO 80027
RELATIONSHIP TO SITE: Owner of business
REASON FOR INITIAL CONTACT:
In reviewing the information of haunted history of Colorado,
we came across information regarding the Old Louisville Inn and decided to
check it out for ourselves. We stopped in for lunch and while eating, noticed
that on their place mats they have mention of 'Samantha' whom was noted as
having been murdered at OLI around the beginning of the 20th century. Her
spirit has been known to become active around the celebration of Saint Patrick's
Day events in the building, itself. We then asked the owner, Garrett McCarthy
if we could do an investigation, since St. Patrick's Day was coming up. He
was more than happy to oblige and gave us permission to set up equipment and
document anything we could find.
DATE OF INVESTIGATION: 03/15/04 & 03/17/04
START TIME: 9:pm
STOP TIME: 11:30PM
Stephen Weidner - Phaedra Tisch-Calabaza - Elisha Steinsiek - Gerald Steinsiek
IPR - Independant Paranormal Investigations also had a booking for this site on this date and time.
INTRODUCTION & HISTORY:
The beautiful antique back bar was built in the 1880s by the Brunswick Company's factory in Dubuque, Iowa. It is a cherrywood, birch, and mahogany "Del Monte" model, was cut-to-fit and constructed with no nails. The Brunswick bar spent about ten in Leadville, Colorado. At the end of the century, this building was built and owned by E.J. Defrancia who was Louisville's agent for Tivoli Beer (Denver). Tivoli worked with him to bring the back bar to Louisville. It remains one of Colorado's tow oldest bars and a priceless treasure of the community. Due to dangerous gases in the coal mines, the miners could not smoke, so most used chewing tobacco. This is the reason for the copper spit trough (once equipped with running water) that still exists along the floor of the bar.
During its early days, the saloon (also known as the Colorado Cafe and The Primrose) had an ice house operating and connected to the building. The original hand-crank elevator was and still is used to bring ice and beer barrels to the basement. O.L.I. is the last remaining saloon of the original 13 that lined the 3-block strip of Front Street. At one time, most of Louisville's 22 saloons were connected by tunnels and their remains still exist on our basement walls, along with the original coal burning furnace. Miners assisted digging tunnels to connect the saloons during the summer months. Because the grade of coal mined in Louisville was weak and brittle, mining only took place in the winter months. When Prohibition hit in the 1920s the windows were covered up and two skylights were installed to bring in light. The skylights and bevel glass you see were installed during the establishments most recent renovations.
Due to constant labor strikes by the town's miners and the mining company's intimidation tactics, Louisville was frequently placed under martial law by U.S. troops and state militia. The mining company hired mercenaries to shoot up the downtown area with machine guns from the compound grounds across the road. The town's residents frequently spent sleepless nights in their basements. These compounds also had their own saloons, drug stores, and casinos. The miners would try and sway strike votes by enlisting their companion/co-worker mules from the mines and count their votes. Due to the Ludlow massacre and the brutal violence in Louisville in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a directive stating that no more immigrants could be brought in by the mining companies to break the strikes.
During its livelier days, the saloon was the heart of the "red light district" and a rothel operated in the back of the building. The train workers were always fed by the saloon, making it easy to draw business from the neighboring train station. O.L.I. is also rumored to be home to a mischievous ghost named Samantha, a harlot who was stabbed to death by one of her customers. For many years, Louisville was the only "wet town" in Boulder County. It was notorious for its drinking, gambling, and illegal connections. There is still a .22 cliber bullet hole in the lower front bar left by just one of many scuffles that occurred in O.L.I. Around the mid 1940's, the ownerasked a local American Indian man named Cheyenne to paint the three large murals on the walls. As Cheyenne was known throughout the town for his preference for liquor, the work was done in exchange for a bar tab at the saloon. The pictures of Colorado's beautiful changing seasons took only a few days and were completed with only one brush. Until their recent unveiling, the murals had spent the better part of 35 years under old wallpaper.
The first major renovations in over 40 years were completed by Martha and Garrett McCarthy, family and friends in 1994. The work required thousands of hours of labor, as does the continued stewardship of the premises. Boulder Preservation and the Historic Society have recently honored the McCarthy's for their "labor of love". In their "spare time"... Martha is a Registered Nurse and Garrett is a World Championship Gold Medalist in triathlon and has numerous World Cup and international victories to his resumé. Garrett also raced for Ireland for 11 years and was the Emerald Isle's best athlete during that period. This project was undertaken to try and link the new Louisville with its colorful past. It is not known how many patrons have passed through these doors, but it is our hope that you will be enriched by its history and continue to enjoy our Irish hospitality for many years to come.
ANALYSIS OF INVESTIGATION:
INITIAL INVESTIGATION DETAILS & FINDINGS:
Arranged with Garrett a time and date to have the crew meet for an investigation. Those that met were: Phaedra Tisch-Calabaza, Elisha Steinsiek and his father Gerald Steinsiek along with, founder, Stephen Weidner.
Arrived at OLI at 9:pm with equipment and found that IPR, Independent Paranormal Research, was also scheduled to do a similar investigation at the same time. I am happy to state that both groups were able to their investigations and seemed to get a long very well. We were given 2 ½ hours to do the investigation a grab as much data as we could. Half the time we were shooting in full light in the basement and the other half we were in black out conditions.
We were invited back again on Saint Patrick's Day to observe the Inn to see if any anomalous activity did occur during the festivities. Upon doing to we realized that there was no way for us to gather information should something happen. The place was too crowded to really get any anomalous activity recorded and too loud for EVP equipment to be effective. What we did gather during the previous days investigations, were photos of anomalous activity in the basement where all of us felt very strange emotions and chills.
EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS UTILIZED: Video tape recorder, Digital audio recorder, 3 digital cameras, 1 infrared camera, 2 EMF meters, 1 infrared thermometer, Geiger counter, 2 way radios, compass. Upon analyzation of the photos taken: all computer enhancing programs; using Photoshop 7.0, Irfanview and ACDSee software that allows the manipulation of JPG data for augmentation and magnification.
SUBJECTIVE IMPRESSIONS: (Emotional, intuitive, etc.)
Upon asking Garrett of his feelings, he stated that he never believed in ghosts or anything of the like until he owned the Old Louisville Inn. Garrett stated he has felt the presence of someone in the basement while working on books and doing 'pub business' after hours when the business, itself, is closed. He said he felt a cold chill run through his body, a feeling of nausea and dizziness as if he was being walked through. A feeling of being watched as well. On one occasion he notice a large figure of a man standing by a wall towards the back door of the main seating area, behind the booths. Garrett thought to himself, “the bar is closed, the doors are locked. There shouldn't be anybody in here besides myself”. In thinking to himself he said, 'I can get up the stairs and over to that area in 10 seconds. Just stay where you are, buster, I gonna get you in the act.' But arriving up the stairs, no one was there.
Upon our investigation in the basement, all of us felt nausea and had severe headaches plus chills at one point just before the blackout. With those feelings of being confirmed by Elisha, Stephen and Phaedra, we concluded that it was not something in the area nor a coincidence. We were all located at various area within the same section of the basement. As fast as it came on to us, it left just as quickily.
ANALYSIS OF PHOTOS: