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Preserving The Tools Of The Trade: Elko's Cowboy Arts And Gear Museum

The front door of the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada, on a sunny day.
Paul Boger

Dedicated to preserving the tools, traditions and culture of the old west, the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum opened its doors in Downtown Elko earlier this year. The museum houses a large collection of antiques including bits, spurs and bridles, but mostly, it focuses on the art of saddle making and one of the craft’s greatest practitioners, G.S. Garcia. Housed in a building Garcia built as a shop and showroom in the early 1900’s, Museum Director Jan Petersen takes us on a tour…

A saddle is on display at the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada.
Credit Paul Boger
On display at the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko is the saddle ordered by the NV 150 Commission as a nod to the state’s Western heritage during the state’s sesquicentennial celebration. The saddle showcases the style and craftsmanship perfected by G.S. Garcia – a world-renowned saddle maker from Elko.

A woman, Jan Petersen, stands in front of a display case at the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada.
Credit Paul Boger
Cowboy Arts and Gear Director Jan Petersen explains how Spanish and Moorish influence from the 1500’s played a part in crafting bits, bridles and spurs used by cowboys in the early 20th century.

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