1) Go to the world famous Pendleton Round Up:
SEPT. 14-17, 2011 Pendleton, Oregon
The first Pendleton Round-Up was to be “a frontier exhibition of picturesque pastimes, Indian and military spectacles, cowboy racing and bronco busting for the championship of the Northwest.” It turned out to be that and more.
For the initial show, all stores closed. “The largest crowd in Pendleton’s history,” 7,000 strong, showed up for the first show on September 29, 1910, a newspaper write reported.
“The words ‘Pendleton’ and Round-Up’ are on the lips of thousands and will continue to be for months and years to come… The Round-Up is a whirlwind success.”
Souvenir program from The 1913 Round-Up
Grow it did. Two decades later, patrons showed up from 36 states and eight foreign countries. Following two years in which the Round-Up was not held, because of World War II, attendance climbed again, eventually reaching 50,000 or more for the four-day show.
“Success bred success and Round-Up stayed in high gear,” says the book “Let ‘er Buck! A history of the Pendleton Round-Up.”
The key to the success of the rodeo and its many attendant activities is community participation – volunteers.
Indian participation has been a strong attraction, too, in the Round-Up arena, at Happy Canyon, in the Indian Village and in the Westward Ho! Parade.
Long before women’s lib, the fairer sex got into the act at the Round-Up – cowgirls in the early days of the Round-Up could be as tough as men. In 1914 Bertha Blanchett, wife of cowboy Del Blancett, came within 12 points of winning the all-around title.
Midway through the Round-Up’s colorful history, a Eugene newspaper summed it up with a characterization that remains applicable today:
“In good times and bad, Pendleton has gone on with the Round-Up. People over on the Umatilla have always been willing to take a chance. Maybe that’s the real cowboy spirit. Maybe it’s a little bit tougher brand of civic spirit. Anyhow, in Pendleton, the show goes on.”
2) Take a tour of the Pendleton Woolen Mills
Welcome To The Pendleton Mill Store
In 1909, with family and town backing, the Bishop sons started up an idle mill in Pendleton, Oregon.
The town of Pendleton, a major railhead serving the Columbia Plateau, was a wool shipping center for sheep growers of the region. The mill, originally built in 1893, began as a wool scouring plant, which washed the raw wool before shipping. Due to increased freight tariffs on the shipment of scoured wool, the business soon became unprofitable.
In 1895, the scouring plant was enlarged and converted into a woolen mill which made bed blankets and robes for Native Americans. This venture also failed and the mill went idle. In 1909, the Bishops opened the facility and constructed a new, more efficient mill building with aid of a local bond issue. In September of that year, the first products emerged from the new finishing department and the tradition of Pendleton Woolen Mills began.
Today the mill stands on the same foundation as it did in 1909, but has added a retail operation along with investments in state-of-the-art technology.
Mill Tour InformationVisitors to the Pendleton Mill store are invited to take a free tour of the mill. Here you can see and learn about the renown Pendleton weaving process. When you’re finished you can visit our Mill Store where you can select from Pendleton’s array of menswear, womenswear, blankets and fabrics.
Public tours for individuals and small groups (under 10 persons) are held weekdays, at 9 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm. Reservations are not required, however tour spaces are filled on a first come basis. When necessary, extra tours may be added to the existing tour schedule if sufficient tour staff is available. Tours take about 20 minutes.
To place a tour reservation call the Pendleton Mill store 541-276-6911
How to Find Us
1307 SE Court Pl, Pendleton Oregon 97801