Ed Bohlin: Saddle Maker to the Stars

By: Kimberly Locke

Photos: Fernando Cerda

In the 1940s, Carla Routt’s grandfather had five silver saddles designed and made by the Bohlin Company, a company synonymous with craftsmanship and known for its famous clientele. Routt still has the saddle made for her grandmother.  “Bohlin is the most famous saddle maker that ever walked this earth so anything that has his name on it, the price goes up,” says Routt while standing proudly beside her grandmother’s Bohlin saddle displayed prominently in her living room, the walls and surfaces overflowing with memorabilia of the rich history of Routt’s family. The saddle and accessories are flanked by sterling silver Indian chieftain figureheads that gleam as the light streams through Routt’s windows. It’s understandable why Bohlin’s work is so renowned.

After running away from his home in Sweden at just 15 years old, Ed Bohlin headed for the Wild West, working cattle drives in Montana prior to settling in Cody, Wyoming where he opened his first saddle shop. While preforming at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater, Bohlin met American film actor Tom Mix who convinced Bohlin to stay in Los Angeles, where he built his reputation as “saddle maker to the stars,” and created over 12,000 saddles, including those of Rose Parade fame.

Bohlin gained notoriety among such Hollywood cowboy legends as Montie Montana and Roy Rogers for their parade saddles, spurs and other Western ware, which was made of the highest quality silver and leather available. His silver works of art became synonymous with the Rose Parade as cowboy legends and the Long Beach Mounted Police proudly employed Bohlin saddles and spurs along the parade route. Bohlin saddles and other Western wear remain highly coveted by Western art collectors. Today a silver Bohlin saddle can fetch upwards of $100,000 at auction.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

F
F
pasadenamag
315
 Photos
4758
 Followers
924
 Following
Experience the 20's in Southern California with Joseph Klestic's impressionist figures! 🎨 How cool is this hyperlapse of Pasadena's City Hall?! Thanks @gdc.photography_ for sharing! 📹 #pasadena #pasadenamagThursdays are always better when your interns bring you donuts! 😍🍩 #pasadenamagPasadena sure loves their poke! One of our favorite places is @pokemixpas 🐟What's yours? #pasadena #pasadenamag #pasadenaeats #poke
F
Twitter
pasadenamag on Twitter
7,921 people follow pasadenamag
Twitter Pic lunarest Twitter Pic Glendale Twitter Pic HealthyM Twitter Pic SocialNP Twitter Pic OscarLo0 Twitter Pic Trin2752 Twitter Pic LitUpClo Twitter Pic SaruRama