Gold Belt Theater Piano
The Gold Belt Theater was a first-class vaudeville theater and entertainment establishment in Ouray, Colorado. There Jerome Johns, a well-known orchestra and band leader, played in its days. One of the most amazing instruments was a William Borne, Series No. 3810 piano built in 1882. This piano was the center of attention for entertainment at the Gold Belt. When Minnie Vanoli the last of the original owners of the Gold Belt passed away, Al Fedel salvaged the piano. In that same year (1969) Linda Gorrod Cockle bought the piano from Fedel and later sold it to her father, Walter Gorrod of Ouray. Gorrod put it up for auction on July 22nd 1982. Benjy and Liz Kuehling were present and purchased the historic square grand piano. They felt that such an important part of Ouray should not be forgotten. They donated it to the Ouray County Historical Society. Today the piano is the centerpiece of the Walsh/McLean room at the Museum. Note the bullet hole just under the keyboard which some like to say Butch Cassidy put there. Or was this where a stray bullet lodged during one of the shootings at the Gold Belt when Gus Vanoli shot and killed his opponent? There are also a variety of autographs inscribed in the wood and keys. A board in front of the keys has the signatures of a band who played at Peach Days in Grand Junction in 1894.