Pendleton, Oregon is the quintessential “Cowboy Town”.
It is famous for the Pendleton Wool Mill
started back in 1909. It was started by Thomas Kay
a British weaver who started the mill
by making blankets for the Indians.
The factory is famous for its blankets and wool shirts.
The mill gives a state-of-the-art tour,
but I did not have the time to take it,
this trip. I’ll save that for another day.
Pendleton is also world famous for its Rodeo.
The Pendleton Round-up.
This event takes place every year in mid-September.
The term “Let’er-Buck” is a cowboy slogan
that comes from early round-up days.
The rodeo first started in 1910 by a local attorney
Roy Raley . . . when he decided to have a rodeo after
the harvest that year, and the rest is history.
There is also a historic tour that takes you into Pendleton’s
underground tunnels. These tunnels were dug by
the Chinese between 1870 and 1930,
they were the homes of a butcher shop, an ice plant,
a Chinese laundry, as well as many illegal saloons,
bordellos and opium dens.
At one time during Pendleton’s Wild West history
the city supported 18 bordellos and 32 saloons.
In my opinion that would be a town to giddy-up
ride around rather than through.
The town today is a warm and friendly western town
with warm brick front stores lining the main street
and the town has some lovely Queen Anne homes set on tree lined streets.
A reminder of its rich and colorful history.
I did not spend a lot of time here, but had to get off
the main highway for about an hour and stretch my legs.
I had a curiosity and wanted to see this historic cowboy town.
I will most definitely be back when I have more time to look around.
While there I when into the most marvelous junk shop.
It was literally piled high with stacks of history.
The owner was the lovely and charming 95 years young lady, Elnor Alkio.
She managed her shop with the help of her little dog.
Her inventory was unbelievable with a mix of everything from
Native American artifacts, 18 and 1900’s Chinese artifacts ,
19 and 20th centry evertything and Early American cowboy.
I only spent about ½ hour there, because I had a long drive home
and was homesick enough to want to be on the road.
The Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla people make up
the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.These are the natives of the Pendleton area.
Some of these antique Chinene dishes were way beyond my price range,
but if you are a true collector . . . You may know their worth.
If you ever get the chance to travel
anywhere near this town . . .don’t miss the opportunity
to spend a couple days seeing the sights.
I will be back again when I have more time to spend.
Happy traveling & remember to take a little trip off the beaten path,
you never know what adventures await you.