Emporium Western Store
On today’s show, we talk to someone in our own backyard, Bakersfield California. Stephen Goldwater’s Emporium Western Store has been a downtown fixture for over 100 years.
While it’s not exactly certain who initially established the store in 1909 – let’s face it, those records are hard to find -my research discovered Abraham Chain and Samuel Cohen owned the store in 1926.
Arnold Rojas in his books about the early Vaqueros talked about the how the early cowhands got paid on a monthly basis and frequently bought a pair of new jeans around payday. Many of the hard working vaqueros couldn’t afford to have their jeans washed and cleaned. At the time, denim would shrink when washed and the vaqueros bought the size that fit them. Then, at the end of the month, they came in for a new pair and threw the old ones away. If you are not familiar with the Vaquero books, they tell the story of the early cowhands in the central valley. If you are familiar, you may enjoy learning that Mr. Rojas’s wrote many of his books in the back room of the Emporium Western Store.
Its’ a cool experience walking through the Emporium Western Store. Jeans of all colors, styles, and sizes are stacked along the walls. There is an incredible selection of boots and when I asked about a particular style, I was told the back room holds about 2,000 pairs.
While the store had been in at least two other locations, the current location was originally built to be a bank. There is an ample parking lot where the store will regularly stage live music events. The walls are covered with memorabilia of years of service to the community. Many celebrities have stopped into the store to shop over the years including Buck Owens.
Welcome to the Whoa Podcast about Horses and Horsemanship. I am your host John Harrer. Each week on the show we talk about some aspect of owning a horse. From feeding or supplementation to bits and bridles, tack, or cowboy boots, we cover training problems, or competing in shows. We talk about the Western/ Cowboy lifestyle in movies, books and magazine articles. And, we travel to places we think you would like to take your horse. That’s what the Whoa Podcast is all about.
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John & Ranae
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