Pablo Briones' doctor bag
This leather bag belonged to an important character in the early history of Bolinas, Pablo Briones (1823-1897). At age 14, in 1837, Pablo was sent alone to hold Rancho Las Baulines – the future Bolinas- until his family could join him more than a year later. When the 1849 Gold Rush brought new settlers to the rancho, he adapted to the rapidly changing culture around him.
Pablo Briones carried this bag of doctoring supplies as he cared for people and animals, using skills taught to him by his paternal aunt Juana Briones who was a famous healer in San Francisco. He also had a medical license issued by the Internal Revenue Service for a charge of $10. People throughout the Bolinas area depended on Pablo’s medical skills, knowledge of medicinal herbs and ability to set bones.
The object was preserved by Pablo’s sister’s descendants. It was given to Bolinas Museum by Lydia Smith, whose husband Sherman Smith Jr. was Pablo’s great nephew.