Nevada Historical Society lecture tells of famed Elko saddle maker G.S. Garcia

CARSON CITY, Nevada – An Elko County saddle maker earned international fame in the early 20th century for the quality of his creations and still today, saddles, bits and spurs with a G.S. Garcia stamp are among the most coveted in the world by collectors of Western memorabilia.

What many may not know, is G.S. Garcia was a cowboy and stock contractor who brought livestock to many rodeos in the early 1900s. Garcia, and his involvement in rodeos, is the subject of this month’s Rodeo Lecture Series at the Nevada Historical Society in Reno.

The event is Thursday, March 21. It starts at 5 p.m. with a wine-and-cheese reception followed at 5:30 p.m. with the lecture by Nevada historian Griff Durham. Admission is $5 for adults; free for Nevada Historical Society members and children 17 and younger.

Durham has a lifelong interest in early California and Great Basin ranching traditions. His knowledge of notable cowboy gear and memorabilia from the region are often shared with historical museum exhibits, articles and lectures.

G.S. Garcia’s custom saddle known as the Garcia Beauty won gold medals at the St. Louis World’s Fair and Exposition in 1904 and in the 1905 Lewis and Clark World’s Fair and Exposition in Portland, Oregon – the only double-gold-medal winner in history.

Garcia brought the saddle to the first Reno Rodeo in 1919.

The Nevada Historical Society, the state’s oldest cultural institution, is located at 1650 N. Virginia St., in Reno.

Members of the public who need special accommodations or assistance are requested to contact our program coordinator at 775-688-1190 ext. 224.