The Pendleton archives hold a lot of history, some of it dating back to our founder’s opening of his own mill in 1863. Some of the most delightful history comes from our association with Disney, which stretches back to the opening of Disneyland in 1955. So here is a peek at these very special archival materials.
We were there by personal invitation of Walt himself!
It’s hard to imagine a time when Disneyland wasn’t a household name worldwide, isn’t it? But we have another letter from our company president, Mort Bishop, referring to an “attached brochure” that explains the Disneyland park. And the letter makes it quite clear that the Pendleton location’s primary function was an exhibit, rather than a store.
So courtesy of photos in our archives, let us take you on a tour of the Pendleton Dry Goods Emporium, as it was called on opening day. Excited visitors entered Frontierland for a taste of the Old West.
And there we were, complete with comfortable benches for whittlers (spittoons are notably absent).
We proudly displayed the World’s largest Champion Buckle in our window. This was before wrestling belts eclipsed western buckles, of course.
Western wear was a staple of the store. And cowboys were shopping!
We also sold blankets, boots, hats…
…and Levi’s jeans! Pendleton and Levi’s have an association that goes way back. We were both part of the original surfer’s uniform in the Southern California surf scene of the early 1960s. And we’ve done at least four collaborations in the 2000s.
So many Disneyland guest remember visits to the Pendleton Dry Goods Emporium as part of family vacations.
Some of the merchandise at this store carried a special label featuring the iconic Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
You can read more about our Disney connection: Pendleton and Disneyland: We Go Way back!