Museum featuring saddles


— To step back in time, Hayden residents need only walk through the doors of the Hayden Heritage Center.
"You can see how the valley was when it was being settled 100 years ago," tour guide Donna Hellyer said. "Many names from the past you will recognize as neighbors today."
This month, the center is featuring an exhibit of saddles, made by Ernest Wagner, a local saddlemaker in the early 1900s. Alongside the 60- and-70-year-old saddles is some of Hayden's contemporary saddle work, including those made by Doug Meacham, Jay Hayes and Brett Brooks.
Wagner's 1934 ledger provides a striking contrast between today's saddles and those of old. Wagner sold a good saddle in 1934 for approximately $77.50. Modern saddles on display sell for about $1,500. Pages upon pages of Wagner's products and their corresponding costs bring early century living back to life.
The tattered, yellowed ledger is, as Hellyer said, full of names that any Hayden resident would recognize: Carpenter, Milner, Sloan and Summers, to name a few.
The museum is located at the old railroad depot on Pearl Street in Hayden.


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