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Walter (Walt) Goldsmith

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Last known State: CO
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Born in western Colorado, Goldsmith worked for the Newton Brothers in Vernal, Utah before moving to San Francisco and the Visalia Company. Walt had been a cowpuncher from the White River country over on the western slope of Colorado logging long hours in the saddle on many ranges with days of snow and blizzards in winter followed by long hours of sun and dust in summer. These experiences taught him what qualities a saddle must have to endure rough country range work. His entry into the saddlery business was as an apprentice treemaker starting at the very foundation of the trade. He advanced in training and technique to become a world class leather carver working for the renowned Bay Area saddle shop of Olsen-Nolte and eventually for himself. Goldsmith was described in Lee Rice & Glenn Vernam’s definitive 1975 book, They Saddled the West, as a “top-notch craftsman with imagination and ingenuity, few had a better background for qualifying as a saddle maker.” Petaluma’s (California) popular Jay Palm apprenticed as a young man under Walt Goldsmith and credits his tutelage for much of his early success as an acclaimed saddle maker.


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