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Hollywood Saddlery

Birth place or City of origin: Hollywood
State of origin: CA
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1930’s
Death/End date: 1950s

Hollywood Saddlery was formed in the late 1930s by Major Monte Stone who opened the shop at Ed Bohlin's old Sunset and Vine location at 6309 Sunset Blvd. The Major was later joined by Harry Soulages, Bohlin's ex-manager who persuaded several other Bohlin saddle makers and silver workers to join him. In the mid 1940s, the store closed for two months of renovations, re-opening in November under a new ownership team comprised of Carl Swanstrom of the Bear Brand Ranch in San Juan Capistrano and Les Yaap, an existing 5-year employee. Les became the new manager with Andy Gomez doing custom leather while Oscar Arroe and Carl Weidhoffer handled silver and custom engraving.

With business booming but space in short supply, the partners decided to move to an expanded 3200 sq ft location at 910 North La Cienega in the summer of 1949 -- just a few blocks from Beverly Hills. The Saddlery, as its name implies, specialized in serving the Southern California Horseman stocking a dazzling array of fancy parade saddles, spurs, bridles, and handsomely designed leather boots. Swanstrom was an expert horseman with a background as an actor in western films which prompted many local celebrities to patronize their popular establishment. The quality of work is very similar to the flashy So Cal style popularized by the Hollywood Cowboys and exemplified by Edward H Bohlin. It was not uncommon for a Southern California silversmith to work for several of the local makers as tempers flared and many of the finest engravers and saddle makers often drifted from saddlery to saddlery due to personality conflicts, or better pay.


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