Garland Sawyer moved to Jackson in 1972 and worked for a grocery store for a number of years. He used to deliver groceries to many of the log cabins around town. He always loved what he calls “old Wyoming log homes” and their stone fireplaces. He was especially fond of their intricately designed antique cook stoves.
One day, while visiting a friend in Bondurant, Wyoming, Garland noticed he had an elk horn chair by the fireplace. He said it was made by John Wertz in the 1930’s. Wertz worked at what is now called the Elk Horn Store in Pinedale. Garland contacted Wertz’s nearest relative, Irene Dockam, whom he had known for some years. She gave Garland a post card showing Johnny Wertz making an elk horn chair. Irene told the story of how Wertz rode a horse from Texas all the way to Bondurant in the 30’s. Garland told Irene he thought he could make a chair as seen in the postcard. He thought he might as well try, since no one would sell theirs to him! Irene said, “Son, you just go right ahead!”
Garland now creates these beautiful chairs made of rawhide and shed elk antlers from the Jackson Hole area. He calls them “Old Wyoming”, appropriately named by someone who so loves the West.