Pendleton Wedding Wayback: Bob and Melba Stork

Ed. note: We are closing Wedding Month here on Pendleton Threads with the Storks, whose Pendleton wedding story spans three generations, many decades of marriage and the Grand Canyon! Enjoy.

Bob and Melba Stork were shopping in Pasadena, California on a spring day in 1951 when a store window with Pendleton shirts caught their attention. They looked at several patterns and decided on a red and green plaid as an engagement gift to each other.

Bob and Melba wore traditional bridal attire when they were married on October 27th, 1951, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Temple City, California.

Storks Wedding, 10/27/1951

After the wedding, they left for a honeymoon trip to the Grand Canyon, where they stayed in a cabin near El Tovar. Bob set up a tripod to capture a picture of them wearing their shirts as a newly married couple.

Fifty years later, their twin daughters and their husbands organized a golden wedding anniversary celebration for the Storks, their family and friends at the Grand Canyon. This photo was taken near the spot where the first photo was taken; a short distance from their honeymoon cabin.

Storks Anniversary, 10/2001

The Storks wore their shirts as jackets many times over the years of their marriage. They have been part of travels throughout the United States, and Melba said, “(they) are as bright, fashionable and warm as they were when we purchased them over sixty years ago.”

Bob and Melba Stork made a gift of their Pendleton engagement shirts to their granddaughter, Lauren, and her new husband, Drew.

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Lauren &Drew, Robert & Melba

Said Mrs. Stork, “Their wedding took place in Dallas, and all sixty of the invited friends and family enjoyed the weekend festivities.” Our congratulations to Lauren and Drew, and to Bob and Melba Stork. Sadly, Melba is no longer with us, though she is part of her family’s loving memories.

Thanks for making Pendleton part of your family traditions.

Pendleton Olympics Blankets from 1932 in 2016

It’s an exciting time, with competition and medals ahead. To celebrate, we’re taking a look back at our Olympic blankets, shipped for the Games of 1932. That post is below, but before you read it, please enjoy some photos sent to us by readers who have found some interesting colorations of Pendleton Olympiad blankets.

Paul, of Ahsland, Oregon, found this rarity:

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Beautiful green, and how about those ombred stripes? Nice, yes?

And we also heard from Eric. He read this post and realized he had exactly the kind of rarity we are looking for.

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We aren’t sure how many colors we made in this blanket and this is the first lilac version we have seen!

Here is a slide show of this 82 year-old collector’s item in use.

 

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And now–with the help of some of these fun color photos–let’s learn about Pendleton’s Olympiad blankets.

In 1932, we won the commission to provide blankets to the Olympics. Here is a photo of the blankets leaving on a train for Los Angeles.

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There are several known colorways for these blankets. In our archives, we have only one, with a very warm color scheme. There are also a light blue and a brights-on-white patterns out there, but we haven’t been able to track down examples. There might even be more. Here is our archival blanket.

WEB_1932 Olympic blanketHere is a close-up of the label.

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That’s a VERY CLOSE close up, isn’t it? Even so, the label is worn enough that you might want the label’s text:

Genuine
OLYMPIAD BLANKET
100% Virgin Wool
1932
PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS
PORTLAND, OREGON U.S.A.

Olympic fever is nothing new, and Pendleton traded on it with themed displays.

1932_Olympic_Display1In the displays, mannequins wear tasteful blanket coats that look modern. We are not sure if those were sewn and offered for sale by Pendleton, or sewn just for display to encourage consumers to get creative with the blankets. Pendleton did manufacture labeled blanket coats for women over the years, but our first women’s sportswear line debuted in 1949 with our 49’er jacket as the centerpiece.

1932_Olympic_Display2And yes, at $7.95, you can’t beat that price.

If you have an example of the other colors of the Pendleton blankets, drop us a line (as Eric did when we ran this post back during the Russia Olympics). We would love some color photos of other examples. Write to us at PendletonWM@penmills.com .

Historic Cameron Trading Post Wedding

July is Wedding Month for us here at Pendleton. We are starting out with a post from APracticalWedding.com, reprinted with permission. This beautiful wedding between Brenda and Donovan incorporates Navajo traditions, including Pendleton blankets. Enjoy!

We Made Our $10K, 120 Guest Modern Navajo Wedding Our Own

These moccasins were made for walking (down the aisle)

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

BRENDA, PE TEACHER AND GRAD STUDENT & DONOVAN, NETWORK SPECIALIST

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Respectful and happy mix of traditional and modern cultures.

PLANNED BUDGET: $7,000

ACTUAL BUDGET: $9,800

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 120

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE MOST FUNDS:

We spent most of our funds at the venue—buying hotel rooms for the wedding party, the officiant, photographer, and ourselves. We also spent a good chunk of change on the catering and cake. We wanted to make sure that everyone was comfortable and provided for.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE LEAST FUNDS:

Decorating. The most expensive decoration we had to purchase was the garlands, roughly $125 a piece. The rose petals were bought at the grocery stores for $12.99 and spread all around. Otherwise, the Pendleton blankets and chairs were items we already had. The rest, like the tulle and the long pieces of fabric, came from Goodwill at the price of $10 total. The ceremonial items for the altar were also items we already owned. Mother Nature took care of the rest!

My dress was incredibly inexpensive as I spent less than $200 to buy and make alterations. My moccasins were a gift and the jewelry were family heirlooms that I wore in honor of my grandmother.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHAT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT:

The makeup artist! I could not believe the amazing job he did with everyone! We do not wear makeup on a regular basis so it was a relief to see that he knew how to make us look great for such an amazing day.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

A FEW THINGS THAT HELPED US ALONG THE WAY:

A wedding coordinator was definitely needed as my family had never gone through a wedding of this fashion before. We were mixing traditional Navajo elements with a contemporary wedding, and we needed someone to guide us through the logistics of how it should look. She took care of things like helping us choose a cake, a makeup artist, and a florist and negotiating with the venue to ensure our needs were met. In a traditional Navajo wedding, there is no talk of any of that, as most weddings are performed at the homestead with everyone pitching in. In this case, we needed guidance, and she did a great job!

Our hardworking and caring family was instrumental in getting our wedding set up. The venue would only make sure it was clean and free of weeds. The rest was up to us. My family then took it upon themselves the day before the wedding to show up and set up late into the night to make sure we didn’t worry about it on the wedding day itself. They also provided the appetizers during our social hour and picked up our wedding cake in Flagstaff, Arizona, which was fifty minutes south of Cameron. We also had a trusted family member with lots of knowledge of Navajo tradition officiate the wedding. Then there were all the little details like the game we played, and someone to coordinate the packing and unpacking of everything we brought to the venue—chairs, decorations, tables, etc. The wedding would not have gone as smoothly without their help. Anything is possible with family!

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

MY BEST PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR MY PLANNING SELF:

Invite more people than what you have planned for. I wish I had sent out more invitations than I originally did. I invited exactly sixty people in my circle of family and friends and thought they would all come, and they didn’t, which meant there were some empty seats I could have filled with others. Lesson learned: invite more people than you planned for; it’ll work out in the end. Also, ENJOY IT! I was so consumed with making sure others were having a good time that I forgot that I was supposed to have a good time too. In hindsight, the wedding was beautiful, but I didn’t realize it till the end.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WEDDING:

The wedding vows. We wrote our own and I felt that meant more to me than anything. We looked each other in the eyes and nothing mattered. To hear my husband tell me how he felt was an incredible feeling! Also, right before we cut our wedding cake my nephew-in-law and my son sang a traditional Navajo blessingway song. As the song progressed, my family and friends joined in and it was soon a chorus of young and old singing to bless our marriage in a good way. I was overwhelmed with love and happiness that I started to cry. It was then I felt so proud to have the culture that I do and to share it with my husband from that day forth.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

OTHER NOTES:

Some people asked us why we didn’t have a true Navajo wedding, and the truth was I had already been married in that way. In Navajo tradition, you cannot marry twice out of the Navajo wedding basket so we had to get creative. I love my heritage but also respect the laws of it, and I wanted to marry in a way that was respectful but also reflected both our faith and culture. The wedding could be described as a mix of both Navajo tradition and Native American Church (NAC) practices in a contemporary format. With permission from my mother and aunts, we took what we could from our culture such as the washing of the hands and the exchanging of the dowry and incorporated prayer and blessings done with NAC paraphernalia (hawk feathers and burning of cedar) and then added the contemporary elements like my dad walking me down the aisle and the exchanging of the rings. The result was a wedding that had such deep meaning for both of us.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

This post includes one or more of our sponsors, who are a key part of supporting APW. Check out theDirectory page for Leah and Mark Photography.

THE INFO:

Photography: Leah and Mark | Location: Cameron, AZ on the Navajo Nation | Venue: Historic Cameron Trading Post | Brenda’s Dress and Bridesmaid Dresses: Camille Lavie | Moccasins: City Electric | Ties, Flower Baskets, and Ring Pillow: Touch of Tradition | Wedding Coordination: Yvonne Chavez | Makeup: Shonie Secody | Hair: Northern Arizona Glam Squad

 

“The Spirit of America”: A New Blanket for Yellowstone Park

It is one of the most popular parks in America, and one of the very first of our national Treasures. And it is celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service with a new blanket, “The Spirit of America.” Welcome to Yellowstone!

We enlisted the help of three Pendleton brand ambassadors for the unveiling of the new Yellowstone National Park blanket, made by Pendleton and exclusively for sale through Yellowstone General Stores. The blanket features Yellowstone’s icons: Old Faithful and grazing bison.

Brandon Burk:

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Cassy Berry:

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Grace Adams:

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We were blown away by the unique way each photographer showcased the color, pattern, borders, details and reverse of this outstanding blanket.

If your park plans don’t include Yellowstone this year, don’t worry; you can order the blanket online here: Yellowstone General Stores.

Delaware North hosted a fantastic event for the Yellowstone Park Foundation to unveil the new custom Pendleton blanket. The highlight of the evening was a generous donation Delaware North presented to the NPS—$20,000 to support the “Expedition Yellowstone” youth scholarship program. We share the following photos with their permission.

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Also on hand was the Pendleton Airstream. Hundreds of people toured this deluxe custom collaboration, and the verdict was unanimous: “I want one!” Only 100 of these beauties were produced and they are going fast, so please contact your Airstream dealer for details.

This is the year to celebrate the centennial of our National Park Service through travel and exploration. Pendleton is honored to be part of the celebration. Your purchase from the Pendleton National Park Collection helps support the good work of the National Park Foundation, an organization that manages, protects and preserves America’s National Treasures for future generations.

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Taking a Blanket Home: Grand Canyon National Park and the #pendle10park Explorers

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We sent our Grand Canyon blanket home to Grand Canyon National Park with photographer Krisitan Irey, celebrating 100 years of our National Park Service.

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Kristin’s thoughtful shots at the rim of this natural marvel are some of our favorites. And the Grand Canyon is one of the recipients of our fundraising efforts. All year, through sales of our own and collaborative National Park projects, we have been raising money to help restore the Grand Canyon’s train depot.

 

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The Grand Canyon Depot in Grand Canyon Village is the Park’s “front door,” used as a meeting place for adventurers for over 100 years. This National Historic Landmark is the Park’s most-photographed man-made structure.  Pendleton’s contributions will help improve accessibility and preserve the character of this National Historic Landmark.

According to the National Park Service, “Nearly 230,000 visitors per year arrive at the Depot via the Grand Canyon Railway, which is an important component of the park’s transportation system. Currently the Grand Canyon Railway, owned and operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, runs up to two trains per day to the park from Williams, Arizona – saving approximately 300 daily vehicle trips during the peak visitor season.” That is approximately 50,000 cars, trucks and campers that will not add wear, tear and crowding to roads leading in and out of the park, thanks to the train.

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Before the railroad opened in 1901, tourists had to fork over $15.00 for a three-day stagecoach ride to see the Grand Canyon. Upon arrival, they were accommodated in tent camps, a situation that didn’t change until the Santa Fe Railroad hired architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Coulter to design six iconic buildings for the park, mostly on the South Rim.

Her work still stands today, having become an integral part of this vast, commanding landscape.

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So put on your boots, hop on the train, and go. The Grand Canyon is waiting.

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Grand Canyon Park Series: SHOP

Grand Canyon #pendle10park explorer: Kristian Irey  Instagram:  @kristianirey

Volunteer Profile: Jim and Ellie Burbank for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Ed. note: Please enjoy a visit with some volunteers we profiled last year; Jim and Ellie Burbank.

Our National Parks are protected and enriched by a small army of volunteers whose time, enthusiasm and energy are put to use in so many ways. Over the next year, we would like to recognize the efforts of some of the people who help protect America’s Treasures. Today, we’re going to start with Jim and Ellie Burbank. The words below come from Lauren Gass, Special Projects Director for the Great Smoky Mountains Park.

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Jim and Ellie Burbank give selflessly of their time on a weekly basis to enhance and improve Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Residents of the great state of Tennessee, they embody the volunteer spirit.  They are former operators of the Snowbird Inn in Robbinsville, NC.  Ellie is a world-class chef and baker and Jim is a retired biologist with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Both are weekly hikers who thrill at any chance to introduce their friends and family members from across the U.S. and around the world to the wonders and beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Jim is a key member of the Volunteers-in-Parks program, and the Friends of the Smokies Tennessee office just would not function very well without Ellie’s help.

Jim actually goes out and meets strangers and tells them about the national park in his work as a weekly educational interpretive volunteer in Cades Cove, and he meets plenty of them with 2.5 million people visiting this beloved valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year.  He also leads monthly full moon walks in the Cove for campers and families to experience the quietude of this mountain treasure at night.  Jim also leads wildflower walks for other nonprofit organizations including Friends of the Smokies, and has helped countless hundreds of hikers differentiate between a yellow trillium and a trout lily.

Ellie acknowledges all of the contributions made to Friends of the Smokies, which involves keeping the organization’s donor records up-to-date and accurate, printing tens of thousands of acknowledgment letters each year, and she does it all in two days each week.  She has volunteered with Friends for more than 14 years, and is the equivalent of another part-time staff member. Jim and Ellie dedicate substantial amounts of time to impart their love of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to others, and they take their volunteer work very seriously.  They are extremely knowledgeable about the Park and its needs.

The Great Smoky Mountains national Park hosts over 9,000,000 visitors each year. Yes, you read that correctly–Nine. Million. Visitors. As the most-visited park in the United States, it needs the help of people like the Burbanks. We thank them sincerely for their generosity and commitment.

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Learn more about helping to support our National Parks here.

PDX Beer Week: Are You Prepared?

Today, we want to talk about PDX Beer Week. As the website explains,

Portland Beer Week is eleven days of fun, educational, eye and palate opening eating and drinking events in the greatest beer city on earth. More than just a beer festival, Portland Beer Week is a celebration of craft beer culture and all of its tangents from food pairings to beer ice cream, artwork and design, film and science.

You owe it to yourself to check out the events for this, if you’re in Portland or anywhere near it. And of course, we’re so proud of our own newest entry into the world of craft brews, thanks to ROGUE Ales & Spirits.

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That’s right: Rogue’s Pendleton Pale Ale in a special can that features the label and stripe from the Pendleton blanket honoring Oregon’s own Crater Lake.

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The Crater Lake Lodge recently held a tasting, and we got serious thumbs-up for the brew’s crisp, clear, yet complex flavors.

You can find this beer at select Pendleton stores as well as the usual Rogue locations.

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Taking a Blanket Home: Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the #pendle10park explorers

 

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Welcome to the most visited national park in the United States, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These misty mountains welcome nine to ten million visitors per year. The park covers more than 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina, making it the largest national park east of the Rockies.

We sent our blanket home to the Great Smokys with one of our #pendle10park explorers. True to their name, the mountains were cloaked with heavy mist, caused by high elevation, 80 inches of rainfall per year, and a multitude of flora; 130 species of trees, over 100 native shrub species, and some 1,600 species of flowering plants.

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The Cherokee called the region Shaconage, which translates to “mountains of the blue smoke.”

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The park is home to many beautiful waterfalls that also play a part in creating that wonderful haze.

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As an International Biosphere Reserve, the Park’s biological diversity is preserved and studied. A staggering 10,00 different species of plants and animals are recorded here, but there may be as many as 9o,000 more species of plant an animal life still to be identified.

With the help of a distance lens, our explorer encountered some of this wildlife, including one of the park’s 1500 black bears.

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Elk, which were re-introduced to the park in 2001, are becoming more common. A herd of around 140 ranges on the North Carolina side of the park. Again, we promise that these beautiful shots were taken at a distance.

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Incredible shots.

Great Smoky National Park is open 365 days a year, and park entry is free. Free! Yes, that means you have access to 850 miles of hiking (there is a fee for overnight camping. But it’s worth it to wake up and smell the coffee in a paradise like this.

 

 

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Many thanks to our #pendle10park explorer, Ben Matthews.

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See more of Ben’s work here:

Ben Matthews on Instagram 

Ben Matthews

Shop Pendleton’s National Park collection here: Great Smoky

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Mill Tribute Blankets by Pendleton: Racine Woolen Mills of Racine, Wisconsin

In 2010, Pendleton Woolen Mills introduced our Tribute Series, paying homage to four of the American Mills that thrived during the Golden Age of Native American Trade blankets. Today, we will talk about Racine Woolen Mills, known for their intricate patterns. 

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In 1865, a Racine company began producing textiles under the name Blake & Company under the leadership of Lucien Blake and John Hart. In 1877, the company incorporated under the name of “Racine Woolen Mills—Blake & Company.” Racine Woolen Mills went on to become the premier producer and marketer of Native American Trade blankets.

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Racine was well-established by 1893. Records show employees of 150 skilled weavers and gross sales of $300K, which was an robust amount for the day. Racine’s fringed shawls were produced under the “Badger State” label. These earliest shawls are relatively subdued by today’s standards, mostly plain with an in intricately designed border. Photos of these vintage shawls show the superior drape of the fabric. They were extremely popular with Native American women.

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Native American women in Racine’s Ribbon-pattern shawls

Each of the companies in our tribute series has its own trademark specialty. Buell is known for faithful reproduction of Native American weaving patterns. Oregon City is famed for fanciful figural patterns and unexpected, riotous color. Racine Woolen Mills blankets are valued for unexpected, intense colors and intricate patterns. Diamonds, crescent moons, five-pointed stars, ribbon bows, compass roses, combs, waterbugs, pipes and feathers are woven with definition and clarity. The sheared finish of a vintage Racine blanket keeps the designs crisp and the hand smooth.

The famed Racine quality was maintained after production was taken over by another fine weaving mill, Shuler & Benninghofen, a mill that produced blankets for Racine until (approximately) 1915. Racine continued to merchandise and market trade blankets procured from different manufacturers until 1940 or so. They seem to have stopped offering wool trade blankets after that, though they kept on as a wholesaler of other styles of woolen blankets and goods until 1951, when Racine Woolen Mills closed doors for good.

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Hidatsa Man by Edward Curtis

According to our friend Barry Friedman in his book Chasing Rainbows, “The last ‘genuine’ Racine blankets were made in the 1930s, when John Hart asked Paul Benninghofen to make one of the old patterns. It was a special favor, because by then Shuler & Benninghofen no longer produced trade blankets and Racine hadn’t contracted to have them made there or anywhere else in years.” The Racine blankets beloved by collectors come from the golden years of 1893-1912, and the Pendleton Mill Tribute blankets are re-creations of blankets from that period.

Racine #7 (available here): Muted colors were rare for Racine. The original blanket was woven for Racine Woolen Mills by Shuler & Benninghofen.

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Racine #6 (available here): Tomahawks, Bows and Arrows

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Racine #5 (retired): Banded Diamonds

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Racine #4 (retired): A dizzying array of color, sawteeth and stars

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Racine#3 (retired, with a limited number available here): Crescent Moon and Shining Star

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Racine #2 (retired): Pipe and Feather – the other elements are two Navajo weaving combs, and an arrow under the pipe

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Racine #1 (retired): Class Y in the Racine catalog, “Yuma” in the Shuler & Benninghofen catalog

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Racine Woolen Mills has an interesting intersection with Pendleton’s history. In 1905, Racine Woolen Mills was furiously negotiating to buy a struggling mill in Pendleton, Oregon, with plans to increase trade blanket production by 300 percent. Those negotiations proved fruitless, and the Pendleton mill went silent in 1908. In 1909, Fanny Kay Bishop organized her three sons to take it over and transform it into the company we know today.

If Racine Woolen Mills had purchased the mill, who knows what the Pendleton story would have been?

 

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