Guest Post: Greg Hatten on a trip to Fort Bridger

Guest post ahead!

Please enjoy a guest post from our friend, Greg Hatten, of wooden boat and river running repute, who took our new Bridger Stripe Blanket for a spin in the area where his namesake traveled so many years ago.

Jim Bridger 1824 – 1871

During the era of exploration of the American west in the mid 1800’s, Jim Bridger was known as an expert trapper, hunter, and marksman among his fellow mountain men. Among the the Flathead and Crow tribes, he was known at the “Blanket Chief” after a beautiful multicolored blanket he wore around his shoulders on special occasions. Within the military, Bridger was known as an outstanding scout, translator, negotiator, and map maker. Jim Bridger had an enormous impact on the western migration of the United States

Jim Bridger, Wikimedia Commons image

Jim Bridger was also called “Old Gabe.” He has always been one of my favorite personalities in the long list of colorful characters that explored the mountains, rivers and plains of Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Idaho. He left a mark on the west by mapping trails, guiding wagon trains, and building a trading post that would expand into a fort. He was respected by allies and enemies for his unmatched skills as an outdoorsman and his ability to stay calm under fire.

A Trip Out West

Wooden sign for "Old Fort Bridger" Pioneer trading post

On my recent trip to Oregon, I began from Kansas City, where Jim Bridger is buried near his former farm in Westport. Traveling west on Interstate 80 (which is “roughly” the route of Lewis and Clark and the old Oregon Trail), I stopped by Fort Bridger in Wyoming and took my Pendleton Bridger Stripe blanket along for the adventure.

Pendleton Bridger Stripe blanket hanging on a wooden fence at Fort Bridger

The rustic fort that bears his name is a nearly exact replica of the original – complete with trading post that was first built in 1842. For several years it was the center of the universe in the western territory as the host of annual trade Rendezvous, a vital resupply stop for the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, figured prominently in the Utah War of 1857 and was a Pony Express relay station in 1860.

Pendleton Bridger Stripe blanket hanging on the axle of a pioneer wagon at Fort Bridger

The Fall colors in Wyoming wrapped around the fort and were a perfect match for the colorful stripes on the Bridger Blanket. I paired the blanket with some historic artifacts and imagined the bustle of the fort as the emigrants on the trail resupplied and double checked their maps before heading off for the last legs of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails.

Blanket folded and displayed on a shelf inside one of the Fort's buildings

A tribute and lasting legacy of that westward migration are the ruts by iron wagon-wheels, and from intentional cutting by emigrants in an attempt to ease the grade from the lower level of the North Platte River.

The Bridger Stripe blanket has a very different front and back.
We love this photo because it shows how different the front and back of this blanket.

The Blanket

The Bridger Stripe Blanket was a perfect compliment to my simple style of camping in canvas and wool on Rogue Wild and Scenic River. Sometimes I used a canvas fly because of the heavy dew but mostly it was open air sleeping under the stars beside the river… and the view was outstanding.

Riverbank campsite with a cot and the Bridger Stripe blanket.

Thank you, Greg! It’s always a pleasure to see our products out in the wild. Enjoy a few more shots below. It wouldn’t be a Greg Hatten post without seeing our blanket in the prow of his beautiful wooden boat. And look carefully at the photo below the river shot. Can you imagine camping there? We can!

As always, we show our blanket in Greg's beautiful wooden boat, on a river.
Beautiful campsite on a rocky promontory
click on this to make it bigger–wouldn’t you love to camp here?
Bridger Stripe blanket - front
Bridger Stripe blanket - reverse

The Bridger Stripe blanket has the same soft hand and all-wool construction of a Pendleton park blanket, with a distinctly different stripe on each side for two looks in one versatile blanket. The pattern is named for a famed explorer, trapper and scout in the 1800s. Jim Bridger was part of the second generation of mountain men who followed Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery journey in 1804. His Rocky Mountains expeditions took him from southern Colorado to the Canadian border.

See it here: Bridger Stripe Blanket

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Holiday preview: New Cotton Quilts

Harding coverlet set

What’s new for the Holidays?

Pendleton’s popular cotton quilts are here in new styles for the holidays, and all year long. We’ve brought our classic patterns, like Harding (seen above and below) to life in cotton. Nothing beats a virgin wool blanket from Pendleton, but cotton can be the perfect choice for you. Do you sleep warm? Do you have an aging pet who shares your slumbers?

These sets are carefully dye-controlled to coordinate perfectly with Pendleton wool blankets to layer over or under when the weather gets extra chilly.

Harding coverlet set: see it here

Harding bedding set.

Classic Patterns, Classic Beauties

We’ve brought some of our most popular patterns to cotton, like White Sands and Wyeth Trail. And what could be more classic than a tartan?

Vintage Dress Stewart Tartan bedding set

Yes, that’s the Vintage Dress Stewart tartan in a holiday preview shot. We also have some gorgeous pieces quilts with center medallion patterns, like Pinos Creek and Chief Star. We are crazy about Canyon Ranch, made with the colors of our Grand Canyon National Park blanket.

Canyon Ranch bedding set

Come see them all.

We have only scratched the surface of our quilt offerings. There are so many patterns and styles, from traditional to modern.

Pendleton cotton quilts and coverlets.

See the full selection here: Pendleton Cotton Quilts & Coverlets

Pendleton Wool Shirts On Sale Now!

Almost a Century

Pendleton Poster of a man paddling in a canoe

We’ve been making wool shirts for over ninety years—in fact, we’re nearing our 100 year anniversary of making Pendleton wool shirts.

Yes, the Pendleton wool shirt story started in 1924, when the Bishop family decided to enlarge their business from trade and bed blankets into men’s apparel. Back then, wool shirts were utilitarian items; warm, durable, an excellent first line in the defense against the elements. They were uniformly drab. Of course, all that was about to change.

At Pendleton Woolen Mills, Clarence Morton Bishop envisioned a different kind of fabric for a man’s wool shirt. Pendleton’s sophisticated weaving capabilities were producing vibrant trade blankets. Why not bring that same weaving and color know-how to flannel shirting?

He wrote to his father, Charles Pleasant Bishop, “I believe we should add such goods as shirts and hosiery.” C.P. Bishop agreed, replying “I am more and more impressed with the opportunity we have here in Oregon.” While his son investigated production options, C.P. Bishop did the early marketing work. He wrote to his son that “I am impressing it on the minds of my employees and patrons…that we are putting a new fabric on the market, something better than other mills can or will make.”

A vintage Pendleton poster featuring the slogan, "A man never has enough Pendletons."

After much weaving experimentation and hard work, Pendleton’s innovative Umatilla shirting fabric rolled off the loom. The positive response to Pendleton’s rich colors was immediate. It has also been enduring. Our Umatilla wool shirting fabric is still woven in the USA, using lofty wool fleece raised by local sheep ranchers.

Friends & Family Sale

We are offering some great deals on wool shirts during our Fall 2020 Friends & Family event, with an extra 25% off the sale price of select men’s styles:

  • Board Shirts
  • Lodge Shirts
  • Trail Shirts
  • Canyon Shirts

See them here: Pendleton wool shirts for men

Select women’s wool shirt styles are also on sale, and can be found here: Pendleton wool shirts for women

Fall is here, and so is Pendleton.  Wrap yourself is something warm, wonderful, and woolen.

Warriors’ Circle of Honor

The Artist

Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho) is an Oklahoma artist who works in painting, sculpting, wood carving, bronze, and graphic design. He served with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam. He has worked in law enforcement for fifty years and is one of the foremost forensic artists in America. He currently serves as the chairperson of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and as a traditional Southern Cheyenne Peace Chief.

The Memorial

Mr. Pratt designed the National Native American Veterans Memorial, at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. This memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Veterans—past, current, and future. The memorial is a place of honor, recognition, reflection and healing for all Native veterans and their families.

For a deeper look at Mr. Pratt and his work on the memorial, please enjoy this film.

 

The Blanket

Pendleton is proud to present Mr. Pratt’s “Warriors’ Circle of Honor” blanket design, based on the memorial.

Warriors' Circle of Honor blanket, front.

The Sacred Fire burns at the center of bands of color representing Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. A border of stars and stripes has openings to allow spirits to enter. Four hands wearing feathers of bravery and triumph mark the cardinal directions. Oval shapes echo the museum’s Grandfather Rocks.

Warrior's Circle of Honor, reverse view.

More Information

For more information on Mr. Pratt’s work, please visit his website:  harveypratt.com.

To learn more about the blanket, visit our website: Warriors’ Circle of Honor

Pendleton label with bald eagle: "Pendleton since 1863 Highest Quality Made in the USA."

Nike N7 and The College Fund blanket for 2019 – 7 Generations

7 Generations

7 Generations wool blanket by Pendleton for the College Fund.

We are proud to present “7 Generations,” the latest blanket in the American Indian College Fund Collection which helps fund scholarships for Native American students. “7 Generations” is also our newest partnership with Nike’s N7 Fund, a trust whose mission is to bring sports to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the US and Canada.

Decoding the Symbols

Front and back views of the new N7/College Fund blanket by Pendleton

This USA-made wool blanket illustrates the past, present and future of Native peoples. The central N7 motif represents the impact of each person (the diamond) on the three generations before and after (arrows). A storm pattern with zigzags of lightning honors heritage, while steps show the path to overcoming life’s challenges. The rich colors were inspired by traditional dyes, and reflect the beauty of the southwestern landscape.

The Designer

Designer Tracie Jackson sits on a stage wearing Nike N7 gear she designed.

This blanket was designed by Tracie Jackson, a Diné artist and designer from Star Mountain in the Navajo Nation. She is a 4th generation artisan. Her grandparents and mother are silversmiths, and both her maternal great grandmothers are rug weavers. Her family encouraged her to study the traditional art forms of her tribe, and with their support she became a painter, jeweler, beader, and graphic designer.

Tracie studied design at the University of Oregon and currently works in Portland, Oregon, designing for the Nike N7 program. This has been her dream job since she was 14 years old, when she first saw N7 at a Native basketball tournament. “I was taught to get an education and use it to help our Native community, which pushed me to become a designer for N7.”

Photos and Models

7 Native American women on a raised platform dressed in Nike clothing and shoes.

The photos of this collection are fantastic. You’ll notice that the designer and her models–athletes, leaders and activists–are holding shutter buttons, and choosing how to represent themselves in these photographs by taking their own shots. We are proud to be part of this.

See and Learn More

Please go see the entire collection here: Nike N7 collection

See the “7 Generations” blanket here: 7 Generations

Pendleton label with bald eagle: "Pendleton since 1863 Highest Quality Made in the USA."

 

Fall 2019: Win a Ginew Heritage Coat on Instagram!

A Native American model stands facing the camera, with his denim Ginew jacket held open to show the Pendleton patterned wool lining.

A Native American model stands in profile, wearing a Ginew jacket with the collar turned up to show that the under-collar is lined in Pendleton patterned wool.

Ginew x Pendleton

This Ginew Heritage Coat (lined in Pendleton wool) can be yours! We are proud to partner with GINEW, a Native-owned premium denim brand, on a giveaway over at our Instagram.

To quote Ginew’s site:

In designing the Ginew Heritage Coat, we recreated a meaningful garment as it was worn by our grandfathers and great-grandfathers in daily life. By exploring our Anishinaabe and Oneida heritages, we came to appreciate their rich history of work and dedication. When we wrap ourselves in this coat, we wrap ourselves in the ways of our ancestors. The premium, American-made materials of our Heritage Coat are not just wool, cotton and brass; they are oral histories, old photographs, and traditional lore. Coats such as these were more than mere garments: they were work tools, worn in the machine shops, forests, and fields by relatives who dedicated themselves to the hard labor of providing for their families.

This is a 7-day giveaway, and the entry period runs from Thursday, September 26th  2019 at 9:00 AM PST, to Monday, September 30th 2019 at 11:59 PM PST.  The rest of the rules are after the jump.

Learn More

See our past posts about Ginew here: Pendleton and Ginew

Read more about Ginew here: Ginew Heritage Coat

Find our Instagram here: @pendletonwm on Instagram

Continue reading

It’s a Pendleton party! Come Join us this Friday, 9/6/19!

Seven Decades

Fall 2019 marks seven decades of style from Pendleton. And we are having a party!

The event details are here: Seven Decades of Style party

You can also register at Eventbrite: Pendleton party, Seven Decades of Style

08_2019_PAW_70th_Anniversary_V3.inddWe can’t wait to share the archive inspirations for this year – vintage clothes are encouraged, so put on your ’49er, bring a friend and have a blast.

 

See you there!

The Board Shirt by Pendleton, for an Endless Summer

The Beach Boys in their Pendleton shirts, posing with a surfboard and palm-bedecked beach wagon on the California coast.

The Pendleton Board Shirt, a shirt with history

As we head into the lazy days of summer, it’s time to celebrate the Pendleton Board Shirt.

In the early 1960s, a group called The Pendletones adopted their name in honor of the surf uniform of the day. When surfing came to California in the late 1950s, surfers devised performance wear: swim trunks and plaid Pendleton shirts over a layer of Vaseline. Surfers wore the same shirts over light pants on the shore, and a fashion trend was born.

The Birth of Surf Music

Even though only one member of the group had ever been up on a surfboard, the Pendletones sang about the simple summer pleasures of the SoCal surf scene; waves, sunshine, cars and girls. Under the unique artistic leadership of Brian Wilson, layered instrumentation and soaring harmonies made these songs anything but simple.

The Shirt made famous by The Beach Boys

The Pendletones changed their name to the Beach Boys in 1962. And though their name changed, their uniform didn’t. The band wore this blue and charcoal plaid shirt on the covers of 45s and LPs throughout the early 1960s. The Board Shirt remains our bestselling men’s wool shirt to this day. It’s a simple style with a straight hem, signature flap pockets and that easy sport collar with the telltale thread loop, just in case you’re buttoning all the way up. We know, it’s your favorite.

It’s a wonderful time to shop the board shirt. See them here: BOARD SHIRTS

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Jackson Sundown, the Bishop Brothers, and the Pendleton Round-Up. Let’er Buck!

Note: In honor of the Pendleton Round-Up, we’re sharing an older post about Jackson Sundown, who is one of the great riders of the American West. It explains our company’s long and rich connection with the Pendleton Round-Up. And you might want to read our earlier post about an exhibit of Jackson Sundown’s personal effects, with photos of modern-day volunteers raising the actual teepee in the historic shot below: see it here.  Let’er Buck!

The Round-Up

The Pendleton Round-up  starts this week—an amazing rodeo adventure in Pendleton, Oregon, celebrating its 102nd year. Our designers travel there for inspiration, entertainment, and to watch our westernwear in action on rodeo competitors and fans. Oregon Public Broadcasting has a video titled “Pendleton Round-Up: The Wild West Way”  that’s well worth watching, and Cowboys & Indians magazine has some great background.

Among the historic images, you’ll see this shot:

Roy Bishop and Jackson Sundown pose in front of the family teepee of Jackson Sundown.

This is Roy Bishop and Jackson Sundown posing at the Pendleton Round-Up. This image actually made the fashion blogs in 2009, when recreations of Roy Bishop’s fringed coat and Jackson Sundown’s oval-print shirt were part of Pendleton’s Centennial offering. But the story is about more than fashion history. This photo is about rodeo history.

The History of a Strong Connection

The association of Pendleton Woolen Mills and the Round-Up goes back to the very beginning, when along with his brothers Clarence and Chauncey, Roy Bishop established the first mill at its current location in Pendleton, Oregon. The brothers combined their production and retailing expertise with an idled mill, a river, and fine fleece provided by local wool growers. Back then, PWM was a blanket company. Our first and most valued customer was the Native American, and the Bishop brothers worked hard to fill the strong demand (we still sell approximately 60% of our blankets to Native customers every year).

The Bishops were key to the conception of the first Round-Up. Rodeos are big business now, and they were big business then. It was an undertaking to get to a rodeo, especially for a working cowboy. The Round-Up needed something special to draw the crowd. It was unheard-of to include Native Americans to a Western rodeo, but Roy Bishop rode out to meet tribal leaders and invite their participation. He was politely received and quietly listened to, but he left without receiving a definite answer.

The rodeo’s starting date approached, and still he waited. On the morning before the rodeo began, Roy stepped out on the mill’s loading dock. In the distance, he had his answer when he saw the dust of the tribes as they made their way to the Indian campground. The cooperation between the Columbia Basin tribes and the Pendleton Round-up, unique among modern rodeos, continues to this day.

So what about the other person in this photo?

 

Jackson Sundown

Jackson Sundown was born Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn in 1863 in Montana. During the Nez Perce war of 1877, he rode with Sitting Bull, retreating to Canada with the Sioux. He eventually returned to Washington, then to Idaho, then to Montana, supporting himself by working, breeding and breaking horses.

In 1912, at the age of 49, Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn began entering rodeo events in Canada and Idaho using the name Jackson Sundown. The crowds went wild when he tied his braids under his chin, lifted his sombrero and started the ride, his wooly angora chaps streaming.

He took so many prizes that other riders refused to challenge him. Stock owners pulled their animals when they saw his name on the list of possible riders, as after Jackson Sundown rode a horse, it might be so thoroughly mastered that it never bucked again.

Jackson Sundown entered the Pendleton Round-Up several times, placing but not winning. In 1915, in a controversial decision, he placed third and decided to retire from rodeo riding. But a sculptor named Alexander Phimister Proctor prevailed upon him to try one more time. In 1916, he did. Jackson Sundown came out of the gate on a horse named Angel, and the spectacular ride that followed has become legendary. The crowd went wild, and threatened to take down the grandstands board-by-board if Sundown wasn’t awarded the title he had so clearly won.

Enter a caption

At twice the age of his competitors, the lanky six-foot tall Indian not only won the bucking championship, but the all-around title as well. He lived out his life on the Nez Perce reservation, raising horses and passing on his skills until his death in 1923. He’s been inducted into more rodeo and athletic halls-of-fame than we have space to list. He is a key character in a novel by Ken Kesey, The Last Go ‘Round.

A Documentary

Jackson Sundown is also featured in a terrific documentary called “American Cowboys.” This is a detailed look at the frustration of competitive riding for contestants of color. It was playing at the Tamastslikt Cultural Center just outside Pendleton, which is a fantastic place to learn about the history of the tribes of the Columbia Basin. It may or may not be part of their permanent installation, but this documentary includes footage of Sundown riding. Sadly, photographs of him riding rare; this may be the only one.

A rare photo of Jackson Sundown riding in the Pendleton Round-Up Arena. The photo has been written upon, and these are the words: "Moorhouse 1916 - Winning the Championship of the World 'Jackson Sundown' on 'Angel' 'no 6' Pendleton Ore"

It is sad that a man who possessed such incredible skills in horsemanship isn’t shown during more of his competitive rides. But there are plenty of images of Jackson Sundown showing his deep understanding of a wardrobe’s role in a great performance. Chaps, hat, and that aloof expression. Jackson Sundown had it all, a fact well-illustrated by this logo for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Yes, that is Jackson Sundown.

Logo for the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which features a silhouette of Jackson Sundown.

So today, in honor of the Pendleton Round-Up, please enjoy these images of Jackson Sundown; Nez Perce warrior, compatriot of Sitting Bull, bronc rider, horse breeder, main character, documentary subject, fashion blog icon, Round-Up Champion and Inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

And a true proponent of individual style.

Jackson Sundown poses with another rider to his left and a businessman to his right. Sundown is smiling, and wearing his signature hat and silk kerchiefs, his wooly potted chaps, and beaded gloves that feature a rider on a bucking horse on the cuffs.

Jackson Sundown poses inside a stable with his championship saddle. He is wearing furry chaps, his signature hat, and a senim workshirt. When he rode, Sundown often tied his braids together on his chest, and they are so tied in this photo. He also holds a lariat.

Jackson SUndown poses in front of his family teepee, wearing a dark cotton shirt with large light polkadots, no hat, a beaded belt, and beaded gloves that show a rider on a bucking horse.

Jackson Sundown smiles for the camera, wearing a chambray shirt, his hat and kerchief, a champion belt buckle, and his beaded gloves.

Jackson Sundown sits on his horse, wearing his signature hat, a dark cotton shirt with large light polka dots, and beaded gloves.

An iconic photo of Jackson Sundown, standing with one foot forward wearing his signature wooly chaps, hands on hips, facing the camera without a smile.