2 – Gallatin Leather Holster

By Museum of Northwest Colorado

Don’t let this holster’s unassuming appearance fool you – this is one AMAZING piece of leather!
Following the heels of the 1858 Colorado Gold Rush, E.L. Gallatin arrived in Denver City (then a part of Kansas) in June of 1860 as a 31-year-old saddle maker from Missouri. As expected, he found plenty of business and on Feb. 28, 1861, the day Colorado became a territory, he officially became the first saddle maker of Colorado… and a really good one.
Gallatin’s business was so successful that he soon opened up locations in Nebraska City, NE and Cheyenne, WY. He also began making saddles that were customized specifically to the desires of cowboys. From this he is credited with the development of two of the most popular styles of saddle ever made: the Pueblo and the Cheyenne.
Gallatin died in Denver in 1906 having left a huge legacy. Today, leather goods carrying his mark are not only incredibly rare, they are considered one of the most sought after artifacts of the Old West. This particular Gallatin holster, made somewhere between 1875 and 1881, is even rarer than most. It’s a beautiful “Mexican double loop” made specifically for a 5.5” Colt revolver instead of the much more common 7.5” barrel length of the day – an exceptionally rare configuration for this era and the only one by Gallatin known to exist.