Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Premier Saddle Maker

Sometime during the 1880s, a young man named J C Welcome moved from California to Burns, Oregon to open a saddle and harness shop and raise his family. He went on to become one of the premier saddle makers in the northwest.

His work was highly sought after by cowboys and ranchers of the day when horses were the primary mode of transportation. His saddles are treasured by collectors today, with some still in use over 100 years after they were built.

Wally Welcome, grandson of J C, says his grandfather began his business in a building on the southwest corner of N. Broadway and C Street in Burns and continued working there until his death in 1907. Frank Welcome, J C’s son, carried on until 1924. The original shop burned in 1915, and Frank moved to the site of the current Harney County Chamber of Commerce building.

Frank Welcome next to what was known as "The Welcome Saddle" in 1888.

In an unusual twist, Welcome saddles were made with a Juniper wood tree, and J C and Frank held a patent on the saddletree design and another one on the spring snap.

Frank Welcome in the early 1900s, posing in the saddlery started 
by his father, Jacob Charles Welcome, better known as J.C.

A saddle made by J C Welcome was discovered by a Burns resident in the museum of Loren and Madge Overlander in Pollock, Idaho. Overlander is a saddle collector. The saddle is inscribed, J.C. Welcome, Burns, Ore. and is the only Welcome saddle Overlander ever found in such good condition.

Saddles are the second most important part of a cowboy's life, second only to his horse.

In the second book in my series Harney County Cowboys, Sean O'Connell works as a ranch cowboy, training horses and watching over cows and calves. His life is in a downward spiral until he meets Catherine Silvera.

She couldn’t leave the idiot there to die!

But what was she going to do with a half-frozen cowboy?

Dancing Creek Bar manager, Catherine Silvera, stared at the waterlogged, unconscious man sleeping in the only vehicle left in the parking lot, his Stetson crushed beneath his head.

Did she know him?

At three a.m. the other employees and patrons were gone. Her first inclination was to leave him to sober up. But the temperature was dropping faster than Wiley Coyote’s anvil.

Her second thought was to call the sheriff. Her hand hovered over the cell phone.

But, she recognized the cowboy. This man had helped her years ago, when she couldn’t help herself.

The smell of liquor filled the interior of the truck. Drunks were above her pay grade, but she owed him.

It would only take a few minutes to repay his kindness then make tracks like a coyote-shy rabbit with hot breath on her tail.

You’ll love this contemporary rodeo romance because sometimes old dogs do learn new tricks.

Check out  Dancing Creek Ranch

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