Stage driver gloves
The men who drove the four-horse teams for the passenger stage between San Rafael and Bolinas were much admired by the local populace. It required strength, skill and courage to maneuver the wooden wheeled, open sided stage and its 9 to 12 passengers over the rough and often steep roads. These hand stitched deerskin stage driver’s gloves are both flamboyant and give practical protection. This pair belonged to Thad Lewis of Bolinas who drove the stage for many years in the 1890s. He had a well deserved reputation as a skillful driver, and was remembered as heroic during a rare accident. A passing house painter’s wagon was dragging a ladder that spooked the stage horses and suddenly the stage went over a precipice. Lewis calmly brought the shaken passengers, frightened horses and still functional stage wagon back onto the road and proceeded to their destination. These gloves were later given to Pablo Briones’ son John and remained in the Briones family until given to Bolinas Museum by Elsie Walsh, great granddaughter of Pablo Briones.