A Brief History of the Zion Park Blanket.

A Guest Post

Today’s post is a guest post from Fred Coldwell, a traveler, collector and lecturer who is the unchallenged expert on Pendleton’s National Park blankets. Please enjoy his informative essay on the origins of the Zion Park blanket, which we reintroduced in a new coloration this year after a long hiatus from the line. All photos of the vintage versions are courtesy Fred Coldwell, taken from his personal collection. 

The introduction

The Zion Park blanket was introduced on September 1, 1926 in six body colors: straw, drab, white, camel hair, rose, and delft blue. Three rows of three character stripes appear at each end. Only one size was produced, 66” x 80”, using pure virgin wool filling on a cotton warp. Felt binding was sewn across both ends, and the Zion Park used the standard Pendleton blanket label for its time.

Here is a stunning example in Delft blue:

The 1926 debut version of the Pendleton Zion National Park blanket.

The colorful character stripes are, from the top down: white, rose, and drab; white, straw, and red; and white, rose and drab. Except for red, Zion Park blankets were available in all these other body colors.

A closer view of the stripes on the 1926 debut of the Pendleton Zion National Park blanket.

The Zion Park used a very thick fleece wool and white felt binding, both visible around its Pendleton copyright 1921 label used from 1921 to 1930:

embroidered label on 1926 version of the Pendleton National Park blanket.

The redesign

In 1929, the Zion Park blanket was redesigned to feature a thunderbird with a Hopi border top and bottom. Seven color combinations were available. Here’s a terra cotta bird on a brown body with a 1921-1930 Pendleton label:

The 1929 version of the Zion Park blanket, a thunderbird on a rust red background.

Back to stripes

The Zion Park disappeared in the 1930s but reappeared postwar with a new design, 5 color bands at each end with three very thin lines of body color at the outer edge of the outer bands. Here’s one in stone with a black center band that emulates a solar eclipse:

The 1940s stripe version of the Pendleton Zion National Park blanket.

The remnants of satin binding appear original to the blanket. The three thin lines of stone body color can barely be seen migrating into the outer straw band:

The corner of the 1940s version shows a blue and gold embroidered Pendleton label.

While retaining its stone body color, the Zion Park soon changed its 5 color bands to lighter pastels popular in the 1950s:

Shot of blanket with Pendleton cardboard tag still attached.

It was identified by its stapled card and wore a new gold label that did not otherwise distinguish it. Both the card and gold label now proclaim the Zion Park was made from 100% virgin wool. The color being given only as Zion National Park suggests the Zion Park came only in this one official color.

1950s Pendleton Zion Park blanket with cardboard tag and white and gold Pendleton label.

The pastel colors became slightly stronger over time, but once the card was removed the gold Pendleton label by itself makes the Zion Park difficult to identify, so one must memorize its color scheme.

1950s Pendleton Zion National Park blanket with satin binding.

In the 1960’s the Zion Park was also available in a small 64” x 43” throw with fringe along each side:

A Pendleton Zion National Park Zion blanket throw with a fringed edge from the 1960s.

The Woolmark logo (lower left) on the throw blanket’s label identifies it as made in around 1965 or later, when Pendleton began using the Woolmark to identify its 100% virgin wool blankets:

A closeup of the Pendleton blue and gold embroidered label on the 1960s Zion National Park throw.

Also in the 1960s overstitched binding replaced the satin. The three thin lines of the body color, which were always present but nearly impossible to see due to the faint colors, now became slightly more visible due to the mildly stronger colors:

A folded shot of the 1960s version, with stitched binding.

2020 release

The Zion Park was discontinued in 1966 and the name remained dormant until 2020. This year, the Zion Park rejoins the National Park blanket family with richer and deeper colors and, finally, its own National Park Blanket label featuring a mountain lion:

The label of the Zion National Park blanket by Pendleton.

The new 2020 Zion Park layout was inspired directly by the 1950s pastel version, but its colors were updated to reflect the landscape of the park itself. The three thin line design feature is now even more visible because of the contrasting brick red body and navy band colors. Why be subtle when you can be bold!

Thank you, Fred! The 2020 version of the Pendleton Zion National Park blanket can be seen here: Zion National Park, by Pendleton

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

 

 

 

 

Introducing the Zion National Park Blanket

The Zion National Park Blanket

A woman wih a Husky dog sits in Zion National Park wrapped in a Zion blanket.

It is always exciting to introduce our new blankets each year.  Pendleton is especially excited to introduce the Zion National Park blanket, just in time for National Park Week.

Pendleton Zion National park blanket in deep rusty red.

Blanket Stripes: The rich hues of Zion’s red rock formations in rusty red, ochre, and tan are lit by the clear brilliant blue of the afternoon sky in Utah’s desert wonderland.

Zion’s Wonders

Zion Park is a geographical wonderland full of formations and features, all part of a super-sequence of rock units called The Grand Staircase. According to Wikipedia, in the park you’ll find:

…the Temple of Sinawava, which is named for the coyote god of the Paiute Indians…and the Zion–Mount Carmel Tunnel [which] ends at Mount Carmel. On the east side of the park, notable park features include Checkerboard Mesa and the East Temple.

The Kolob Terrace area, northwest of Zion Canyon, features a slot canyon called The Subway, and a panoramic view of the entire area from Lava Point. The Kolob Canyons section, further to the northwest near Cedar City, features Tucupit Point and one of the world’s longest natural archesKolob Arch.

Other notable geographic features of Zion Canyon include Angels LandingThe Great White Throne, the Court of the PatriarchsThe West Temple, Towers of the Virgin, the Altar of Sacrifice, the Watchman, Weeping Rock, and the Emerald Pools.

With 4.3 million visitors per year, this is a park to celebrate!

A girl stands in Zion National Park with the Zion blanket around her shoulders.

Inspiration

The Zion National Park Pendleton blanket features navy, ochre and goldenrod stripes on a brick red background. “We were really inspired by the bold stripe design of a version of the blanket from the 1950s,” says Amanda Coppa, senior merchandise manager of the home division at Pendleton. “The colors were drawn from the beauty and landscape of the park! We had to emphasize the deep red that Utah and Zion are known and loved for.”

Our label features a mountain lion, also known as a cougar, part of the wildlife that lives in Zion’s varied life zones (desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest). Animals range from the petite kangaroo rat (which is adorable, and resembles a very leggy gerbil) to enormous yet agile bighorn sheep. Mule deer, foxes, bats, and rock squirrels are often seen by the park’s visitors, and close to the ground, the amazing variety of rodents draw the park’s birds of prey, which include the California Condor, the Mexican Spotted Owl, and the Peregrine Falcon. All told, Zion is home to over 78 species of mammals, 291 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 8 species of fish.

The label of the Zion National Park blanket by Pendleton.

Label: As the sun sets, a solitary mountain lion pauses before the towering sandstone of the Great White Throne.

Our friend and brand ambassador, photographer Kristen Frasca, was able to take the Zion blanket home to its park for the photos in this post.

A husky dog stares at the camera in Zion National Park.

Thanks to her for these gorgeous photos, especially this last one, where her Husky dog is almost more commanding than the scenery! If you’d like to see more of Kristen’s work, please visit her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/kristenfrasca/

You can see the blanket and more at our website: Zion National Park by Pendleton

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

 

Happy 100th to the Grand Canyon – free admission on August 25th 2019!

I don’t believe that anyone can see the Grand Canyon area for themselves and not know that we have to do everything we can to protect it for future generations.

–Nolan Gould

woman with ponytail wrapped in Pendleton Grand Canyon blanket stands on the rim of the Grand Canyon

A Momentous Birthday

On August 25, 2019, the Grand Canyon celebrates its centennial with free admission to one of the seven wonders of the natural world.

A young woman wrapped in a Pendleton Grand Canyon National Park blanket sits on the Grand Canyon's rim, looking into the distance.

Yes, that’s right, on August 25th, you can experience these wonders for free.

The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must fail.

– John Wesley Powell

Pendleton Pitches In

This marvel of geology is just one of the recipients of Pendleton’s national park fundraising efforts. Through sales of our own and collaborative projects, we have been raising money to help restore the Grand Canyon’s train depot.

 

69391241

(source)

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.

woman with ponytail seated on a Pendleton Grand Canyon park blanket overlooking the rim of the Grand Canyon

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.

Summer rainstorm over the Grand Canyon

(source)

 

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

seated woman at rim of Grand Canyon, wearing hiking boots and Pendleton socks.

Grand Canyon Park Series: SHOP

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

Why We Do This – Running the Grand Canyon with Greg Hatten

 

 

Greg Hatten, river guide extraordinaire, in his wooden boat. Greg is also wearing a Pendleton shirt.

Hello from Greg Hatten

In honor of the Grand Canyon‘s 100th anniversary, we are rerunning some guest posts from our friend and favorite guest blogger, Greg Hatten. He has experienced the Canyon as few others have; from within his wooden drift boat, a replica of one of the boats that took to the Colorado River in 1964 to save the Grand Canyon from being turned into a reservoir. Enjoy.

March of 2014 was a deadly month in the Grand Canyon for river runners.   The water level was well below average and even the most experienced boatmen saw water dynamics they had never seen before.  Low water created new hazards – holes were deeper, drops were sharper, jagged rocks that rarely see sunlight punched holes in our boats and holes in our confidence.

An accomplished group of nine kayakers just a few miles ahead of us lost one of their team mates to the river below Lava Falls.  There was a another serious accident in the group two days behind us midway through the trip.

Some of our wood boats were damaged, a few of our rubber rafts flipped, oars and ribs and teeth were broken, a helicopter rescue was required for a member of our team on Day 4. After 280 miles and 24 days on the water, we reached the end of the Grand Canyon and all agreed we were ready to do it again…as soon as possible.

A rough and ready group of "River Rats," five men wearing Pendleton shirts, holding broken oars from their river running adventures.

 

Who are we and why do we do this???   

Greg Hatten maneuvers his way though churning rapids in his wooden boat, the "Portola."

We are a band of wood boat enthusiasts who came to the Grand Canyon in March to re-run a famous trip from 1964 with our wood dory replicas, our canvas tents and bedrolls, our Pendleton wool blankets, and a couple of great photographers to capture the adventure.

Relaxing at the river's edge: Greg Hatten and eight more river runners relax after a day on the river.

Fifty years ago, that trip played a crucial role in saving the Grand Canyon from two proposed dams that were already under construction.  If THAT trip had not happened, THIS trip would not have been possible and our campsites would be at the bottom of a reservoir instead of beside the river.  River running on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon would’ve been replaced by “Reservoir Running in Pontoons,” as most of the Grand Canyon would’ve been hundreds of feet under water.

Three beautiful wooden drift boats want in the shallows next to the Colorado RIver, in the shadow of the walls of the Grand Canyon.

We are celebrating the success of the trip of  ‘64 and paying tribute to those men who left a legacy for future river runners like us to run the big water of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon in river boats.  We are brought together by Dave Mortenson, whose dad was one of those pioneers.

The “Why”…

“Who we are” is easier to answer than “Why we do this.” There are moments on trips like these, when we are at the crossroads of chaos – where adventure and wonder intersect with danger and consequence – and the outcome is uncertain. THAT’s what makes it an adventure.  I can only speak for myself – but here’s my shot at answering “why…”

I do this because the Grand Canyon takes my breath away.  The first time I saw it from the bottom looking up, I fell in love with this place and was absolutely amazed by the size and beauty of the canyon.  Everything is bigger, deeper, taller, more colorful, more powerful, more everything than anyplace I have ever been.

Greg Hatten in the Portola, on still green waters of the Colorado River.

I do this because the Colorado River tests my physical ability as a boatman like no other river I have ever boated.  This is one of the most powerful rivers in North America and when that strong current bends the oars I’m rowing and I feel the raw force shooting up my aching arms and across my tired back, I’m electrified and anxious at the same time.

I do this because the rapids on this river test my mental ability as a boatman.  My friend and veteran Canyoneer Craig Wolfson calls it “Nerve.”  Scouting severe rapids and seeing the safest “line” to run is one thing – having the nerve to put your boat on that line is another.  Most of the difficult rapids require a run that puts your boat inches from disaster at the entry point in order to avoid calamity at the bottom.  Everything in your “experience” tells you to avoid the danger at the top – but you mustn’t.  Overriding those instincts and pulling off a successful run is a mental tug of war that is challenging beyond belief.

I do this because of the bonds we form as a team of 16 individuals working and cooking and rowing and eating and drinking and laughing together for 280 miles.  We problem-solve together, we celebrate together, we look out for each other, and we find a way to get along when every once-in-awhile the stress of the trip makes “some” of us a little “cranky.”   Sometimes, we experience the most vulnerable moments of our lives together.  These people are lifetime friends as a result of this adventure.

And finally – I do this because it brings out the best in me.  My senses are better, my mind is clearer, my body is stronger and I like to think I’m friendlier, funnier, more generous, and more helpful down in the Canyon.  It makes me want to be this open with people up on Rim when I get back to my regular routine.  It’s hard to articulate but for me, the place is magic.

Greg Hatten

Greg Hatten and five friends relax on and around two wooden boats on the banks of the Colorado River.

The Pendleton Grand Canyon blanket

See the Grand Canyon Pendleton blanket and throw here: PARK BLANKETS

PWM_USA_label

Introducing the Olympic National Park Blanket!

Editor’s note:

For National Park Week, we are reposting some of our favorite national park posts! We hope you get out there and enjoy your parks this week, but if you can’t, we will take you to the wilderness as best as we can. 

Pendleton is proud to unveil our latest national park blanket, celebrating Washington state’s Olympic National Park.

A bed made up with the Olympic national Park blanket by Pendleton sits in a mountain meadow.

The colors of this blanket pay homage to the Olympic National Park in our neighboring Washington State. This unique region is famous for its varied ecosystems—from rugged coastlines and dense old-growth forests to glacier-capped alpine peaks and lush rainforests.

THe Olympic National Park blanket, by Pendleton, next to a closeup of the blanket's lable, which features a drawing of a Roosevelt elk silhouetted by Ruby Beach, with wildflowers in the foreground.

This very special design uses a ground of heather grey with two bands of stripes in muted, natural tones. Fans of our national park blankets can attest to the fact that we don’t usually use heathered yarns in this group, making this blanket uniquely beautiful, just like the park for which it’s named.

A photo of Cedar Creek emptying into the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park.

…Diversity is the hallmark of Olympic National Park. Encompassing nearly a million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness, thousands of years of human history, and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline. https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm

Rainforests

Visitors to the Pacific Northwest are often surprised to learn about our rainforests. The entire area was once home to a huge rainforest that stretched from Oregon’s southern coast to southeastern Alaska. Why? Because of our bountiful, wonderful (and sometimes depressing) level of rainfall.

The Olympic National Forest receives 12 to 14 feet of rain per year, with temperatures that rarely dip below freezing or rise above 80 degrees. These temperate, damp conditions allow rain forests to thrive, nourishing an array of vegetation: mosses, ferns, Douglas fir, red alders, Western hemlocks and Sitka spruce. As in all rain forests, downed trees become “nurse logs,” fertile places where seeds grow, animals nest and insects burrow.

A photo of the Hoh rainforest in Olympic National Park, with soft green grass overhung by moss-laden tree branches.

Olympic National Park is home to four rain forests; Hoh, Quinault, Queets and Bogchiel. Quinault Rain Forest is home to the world’s largest Sitka spruce. This tree is more than 1,000 years old, 191-feet-high with a 96-foot spread. Aside from the Redwoods of California, Quinalt holds the largest trees in America—and, a gorgeous lake! Read more about a wooden boat  trip to Lake Quinalt by our friend Greg Hatten here: Lake Quinalt.

Mountains

The Olympic Mountains are part of the Pacific Coast Ranges. They’re not especially high – Mount Olympus is the highest at 7,962 ft (2,427 m)–but its eastern slopes rise out of Puget Sound from sea level, making for a towering ascent. The range’s western slopes are the wettest place in the 48 states thanks to—you guessed it—rain! That 12 to 14 feet of rain we mentioned earlier.

Hurricane Ridge, a scenic spot in Olympic National Park.

Hurricane Ridge, at a mile above sea level, offers an unmatched view of the Olympic Mountains. You can observe right there, or take off on hiking trails. You can even take an off-road ready rig up two narrow dirt roads–Obstruction Point or Deer Park—to take in some incredible views of snow-capped mountains.

Beaches

As part of its varied landscape, Olympic NP contains a 73-mile long stretch of wilderness coast. The rocky headlands, beaches, tidepools and sea stacks are wild and undeveloped. Ruby Beach—named for ruby-like crystals that are found in deposits of the beach’s sand–has been attracting artists and photographers for decades, thanks to its unique sea stacks.

Interesting "sea stack" rock formations on Ruby Beach, in Olympic National Park.

By Adbar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27301905

Wildlife

We love our animals out here, and Olympic NP is full of them. Old growth preserves provide unique and safe habitat for several endangered species, including the northern spotted owl. Birdwatching in the park is popular, with over 250 species of birds. The mountain meadows draw blue grouse, woodpeckers, gray jays, and more. At the coast, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles.

On land, several species are found only in the Olympic forests: The Olympic marmot, Olympic snow mole and Olympic torrent salamander. Cougars, bobcats and bears are just a few of the carnivores that roam and hunt these forests. For a full list, see here: https://www.nps.gov/olym/learn/nature/mammal-species-list.htmAnd don’t forget the ocean. Offshore, the waters that wash the beaches of Olympic NP are home to whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals, and sea otters.

A bobcat in Olympic National Park.

But that’s not all!

Other things to remember about visiting the area:

  • The Olympic peninsula was once one of the PNW’s best-kept secrets until a certain book series ignited interest in the area. If that’s your jam, Forks is VERY close to the park, as are La Push and Port Angeles.
  • If you would like to set foot on the westernmost  point of the contiguous 48 states, you can do it at Cape Alava, Washington (48.16974° N, 124.73004° W) during low tide, by walking out to the west side of Tskawahyah Island. Cape Alava is accessible via a 3-mile boardwalk hike from a ranger station in the park.
  • Dogs are not allowed in most of our national parks. But Olympic has dog-friendly trails where you can hike with your pooch, as long as you follow a few rules. Read more here: pets in Olympic National Park

So snuggle up in the made-in-the-USA warmth of the Olympic National Park blanketand start planning your visit. The Pacific Northwest wonderland awaits.

The Olympic National Park blanket by Pendleton. The main part of the blanket is heathered grey with stripes of goldenrod, teal, white and rust at each end.

 

Pendleton logo label that shows a drawing of a bald eagle, and the words: "Pendleton since 1863 Highest Quality Made in the USA." This blanket is sewn onto all Pendleton's traditional wool blankets, which are still 00% made in the USA.

Spider Rock and the Canyon de Chelly: Canyon Song

Editor’s note:

For National Park Week, we are reposting some of our favorite national park posts! We hope you get out there and enjoy your parks this week, but if you can’t, we will take you to the wilderness as best as we can. 

 

Two young Dine girls, Tonisha and Tonielle Draper.

Canyon Song

Pendleton Woolen Mills is proud to be part of the National Park Experience series with a new short film, “Canyon Song.”

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon Song follows the Draper family as they practice traditional indigenous farming methods in the Canyon de Chelly Wilderness.

A wondow in a red clay brick home reflects the Canyon de Chelly.

As a portrait of two young Dine girls, Tonisha and Tonielle Draper, “Canyon Song” artfully positions the historic with the modern. The girls sing songs about social media (you should watch the closing credits to enjoy this) and visit the carnival. Tonisha participates in competitions that showcase understanding and reverence for Navajo culture.

Tonisha Draper stands in her family's corn plot, ed rock behind her. She is wearing a bright green traditional Navajo gown, a crown, and she is holding a fringed Pendleton robe in the Chief Joseph pattern.

These girls are the heart of the film, and their smiles, voices and joy will haunt you.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly sits in the heart of the Navajo nation. Spider Rock, with spires that tower 800 feet above the canyon floor, is one of the canyon’s most important landmarks. 

NGS Picture ID:403617

Spider Woman, one of the major Navajo deities, is traditionally said to live at the top of Spider Rock.  In our research, we came across this description of her from an older book of legends:

The people gazed wide-eyed upon her shining beauty. Her woven upper garment of soft white wool hung tunic-wise over a blue skirt. On its left side was woven a band bearing the Butterfly and Squash Blossom, in designs of red and yellow and green with bands of black appearing in between. Her neck was hung with heavy necklaces of turquoise, shell and coral, and pendants of the same hung from her ears. Her face was fair, with warm eyes and tender lips, and her form most graceful. Upon her feet were skin boots of gleaming white, and they now turned toward where the sand spun about in whirlpool fashion. She held up her right hand and smiled upon them, then stepped upon the whirling sand. Wonder of wonders, before their eyes the sands seemed to suck her swiftly down until she disappeared entirely from their sight. (source)

Spider Woman is the original weaver, who wove the web of the Universe. She also played a key role in Earth’s creation as Tawa, the Sun God, sang the world into existence. Spider Woman made a gift of her weaving skills to her people as part of the “Beauty Way,” a Navajo tradition of balance in mind, body and spirit. She also has a fierce aspect. Parents would threaten their children with her wrath:

As children growing up at Spider Rock, Canyon De Chelly and Canyon Del Muerto, our grandmother would tell us of mischievous and disobedient children that were taken to Spider Woman and woven up in her tight weaving, after Talking God had spoken through the wind spirits to instruct Spider Woman on how to find and identify the bad little kids. Spider Woman would boil and eat the bad little kids, that is why there are white banded streaks at the top of Spider Rock, where the bones of the bad children still bleach the rocks to this day. (source)

Now, if that isn’t enough to make you behave…

The Film

It is a privilege to be part of a film that celebrates this harsh and beautiful country, and the people who live there. Please enjoy “Canyon Song.”

 

Photos courtesy of The National Park Experience.

See Pendleton’s Spider Rock pattern here: Spider Rock

Pendleton logo label that shows a drawing of a bald eagle, and the words: "Pendleton since 1863 Highest Quality Made in the USA." This blanket is sewn onto all Pendleton's traditional wool blankets, which are still 00% made in the USA.

 

A Pendleton Adventure with the Grey Wolves of Yellowstone

Editor’s note:

For National Park Week, we are reposting some of our favorite national park posts! We hope you get out there and enjoy your parks this week, but if you can’t, we will take you to the wilderness as best as we can.

A wolf pauses in a snowy forest.

The Grey Wolves

The grey wolves of Yellowstone are heard more often than seen. Their eerie howls can echo up to fifty miles, summoning the pack before or after a hunt. Yellowstone’s wolves are efficient predators, able to take down animals many times their weight by hunting in packs. Through strategic harrowing, you can watch them bring down a buffalo here: Hunting Wolves.  They are strategic, efficient and effective predators. They are also protected within the park, but this was not always the case.

Extirpation

When Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872, the goal to “conserve and protect” didn’t extend to the park’s wildlife. Visitors were free to hunt and kill any game in Yellowstone. The grey wolf was especially vulnerable, even after the Secretary of the Interior regulated hunting in 1873. As an “undesirable predator,” the grey wolf was subject to a massive kill-off by the US Army in 1907 (1,800 wolves and 23,000 coyotes). The 1916 legislation that created the National Park Service included language that authorized the “…destruction of such animals and of such plant life as may be detrimental to the use of said parks, monument and reservations.” This is known as “extirpation,” and the consequences are devastating.

By 1926, the gray wolf of Yellowstone was eradicated. This allowed the elk population to grow, contributing to the overgrazing of Yellowstone’s deciduous trees, which affected the small animals and birds that rely on the aspen and cottonwood groves for their habitat, and the fish in the streams churned by more hooves. Without competition from the grey wolf, the coyote population rose dramatically, and those able predators over-thinned the pronghorn antelope population. Park managers, biologists, conservationists and environmentalists were in agreement; the wolf was a necessary part of Yellowstone’s ecosystem.

Two young wolves on a grassy forest floor.

The Wolves Return

The campaign to re-introduce the grey wolf to Yellowstone National Park began in the 1940s. By the 1960s, there was an explosion of awareness concerning ecosystems. Scientist, conservationist and hunter all agreed that there was a need to restore Nature’s balance. When the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1966, it paved the way for identification and preservation of fragile species. The gray wolf was one of the first animals to be declared endangered.

The program to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone began with 14 wolves trapped in Canada, near Jasper National Park. Seventeen more Canadian grey wolves were captured the next year, and added to the program. The wolves were initially placed in “acclimation pens.” They were released fully into the wild in April of 1996. By the late 1990s, the wolves were making their comeback.

A Pendleton Employee Shares her Story

This sighting comes from Pendleton’s own Katie Roberts, who shared a Pendleton employee park memory with us.

Two young, smiling girls on a field trip to Yellowstone Park. I took a Science class in high school where we got to take trips to both Yellowstone and Glacier. We were allowed access to the parks in the offseason, so we were basically the only ones there. On the Yellowstone trip, we were tracking wolves for our class. They’re pretty elusive creatures, so we didn’t see any until the very end of the day, right before sunset. Not only did we see the biggest Wolf Pack in Yellowstone (at the time), we saw it chase down an elk and kill it! It was pretty crazy, the “Nature Channel” in front of our eyes. I spent a lot of times in both parks growing up, but that was probably the wildest thing I’ve ever witnessed!

Wolves in Ecosystems

Wolves are magnificent and eerie, and absolutely vital to Yellowstone’s ecosystem.Today, there are around 100 living in 10 packs in Yellowstone. The effect on the park’s ecosystem has been extensive, thanks to the “trophic cascade” that falls from an apex predator at the top of the food chain to all the animals, birds, insects and plants that make up the food chain of its prey. Wolves actually help to transform their physical environment. Here’s a fascinating video that talks about how the wolves of Yellowstone have changed the rivers of Yellowstone. It is well-worth watching, and explains trophic cascade. Enjoy.

And you can support the National Park Foundation with Pendleton’s Yellowstone collection here: SHOP Yellowstone by Pendleton

Images courtesy Pixabay

A round logo for the Pendleton National Park Collection.

 

Every Blanket Tells a Story: Louise Kelly

Editor’s note:

For National Park Week, we are reposting some of our favorite national park posts! We hope you get out there and enjoy your parks this week, but if you can’t, we will take you to the wilderness as best as we can. 

A long lost blanket pattern

We first saw this blanket when Judy Goodman of Joseph, Oregon, contacted us for information on a blanket that belonged to her grandmother, Louise Kelly.

Front and back views of an unusual vintage Rainier National Park blanket, which has bands of wildflowers instead of stripes.

The label identified it as a Rainier National Park blanket, but it’s so very different from our current version that we knew it was a special treasure.

Photo of a blanket label for a Rainier National Park blanket from the 1940s.

A Blanket Expert

We reached out to our National Park blanket expert, Fred Coldwell of Denver, Colorado. He identified the blanket right away. Here is his information:

The blanket is Pendleton’s very first Rainier National Park Blanket, No. 18, introduced on February 1, 1928. It had overstitched ends and a border design of flowers (lupine, paint brush and daisy) on one of three color bodies (white, light blue or moss green).

Photo of the blanket border with three flowers are found on Mt. Rainier in these subspecies: Broadleaf Lupine, Dwarf Lupine, Magenta Paintbrush, Scarlet Paintbrush, Subalpine Daisy.

These three flowers are found on Mt. Rainier in these subspecies: Broadleaf Lupine, Dwarf Lupine, Magenta Paintbrush, Scarlet Paintbrush, Subalpine Daisy. They can be seen here under Subalpine flowers in the Blue/Purple Pink/Red folders.

Back to the blanket. Four points (indicating the 66″ x 80″ size) were sewn into the lower left hand corner of the blanket’s large center field. This blanket came in only one size, 66″ x 80″, and was made with virgin wool on a cotton warp. It was wrapped in paper for packing. The wholesale price was $9.00 in 1928 and 1929. This Rainier Park Blanket is listed in Pendleton’s February 1, 1928 Wholesale Price List No. 6 and in the March 1, 1929 Wholesale Price List No. 8. But it had disappeared by 1934-35 when retail Catalog No. 11 was issued. I have no information about it from late 1929 to 1933, but I imagine it was a casualty of the early 1930s Depression.

Ms. Goodman was thrilled to have Fred Coldwell’s information. When we asked her if she’d like to share the blanket on our blog, it spurred her to do some serious family research; not just the names, dates, family tree kind of research, but research into her grandmother’s story. How did she come to the Northwest? How did this blanket tie into her life? The story of a blanket is also the story of the person who owned it.

Louise Kelly

We would like to share Louise’s story, as told by her granddaughter.

My grandmother, Louise Kelly, was born on October 26, 1906 to John and Mattie (Landreth) Evans in Taberville, MO. Like many families of this era, Louise had eleven brothers and sisters. She rode a horse to school and purchased school supplies by exchanging farm eggs at the store. Once she’d finished eighth grade, Louise (at age 12 or 13) had to stay home to care for all the other small children in the family. Some of her brothers were never able to attend school. They stayed to work the farm with their father.

Louise married at the age of 24 and gave birth to her first child (my mother, Wilma) in 1931. My uncle was born a few years later. The family farmed, raised chickens, made their own blankets and clothes, and preserved fruits and vegetables. They managed to survive the Great Depression and were looking at a new future when this photo was taken of Louise in 1941 near Mt. Rainier on a trip to Yakima, Washington.

A vintage photo of Louise Kelly standing in front of Mt. Rainier.

(Louise Kelly, 1941)

The family was taken with the West. Eight years later, the family finally saved enough to move there, settling in Zillah, Washington. My mother was a senior in high school when her father suffered a heart attack. My grandmother Louise found herself widowed with two teenagers. She worked two jobs to support her family, running her own morning café and cooking at another restaurant at night. 

Wearing their waitress uniforms, Louise [left] and her daughter Wilma [right] in front of Louise’s café.

(Louise [left] and her daughter Wilma [right] in front of Louise’s café [obviously the dog didn’t want to be in the photo])

Percy Kelly was a business man who enjoyed breakfast every morning at my grandmother’s café. He was a potato dealer – buying potatoes right from the field, sorting and bagging them in a warehouse in Toppenish, WA, then shipping by rail using “ice” stops along the way to keep the potatoes cool. He had also lost his wife in 1949. Percy asked Louise out on a date, but she was too busy with work and family. One day at the café, Percy took off his suit jacket, rolled up his shirt sleeves and started to wash dishes with Louise just so he could spend time with her. That was the beginning of their love story, and how this beautiful Pendleton Mt. Rainier Blanket came into my possession.

Percy (who I knew as Papa) and Louise were married in 1951 and moved to the Columbia Basin in 1952. They grew potatoes near Winchester, Washington. Papa was a member of the Washington State Potato Commission. They built their own potato storage and started to ship potatoes. This was the beginning of their potato empire, and their life together. Percy had two daughters who were still in high school at the time. My mother started college and her brother enlisted in the Army.

Louise always loved Mt. Rainier. This photo of the mountain and a CCC camp at its base hung on the wall of her home for most of her life.

Louise always loved Mt. Rainier. This photo of the mountain and a CCC camp at its base hung on the wall of her home for most of her life.

It is possible that the Mt. Rainier Park blanket was a wedding gift to Louise and Percy, but more than likely it was a wedding gift for Percy and his first wife in 1929. The blanket remained in the family all of these years. It was often stored in a cedar trunk that came into my possession in 1999 when Louise passed away. “Percy loved beautiful handcrafted things,” his daughter, Jeanette Burk, recently told me in a phone conversation. “He liked well-crafted items made of leather and wool, and he definitely would have wanted this blanket for his family.”

A Story Lives On

So that is the story of one National Park Blanket and the person (and family) it belonged to.  The blanket spends most of its time displayed in Judy’s Oregon home. Currently, the blanket  is on display at Wallowology (www.wallowology.org) where Judy works. Above it is Louise’s Pendleton 49’er jacket, a beauty that appears to have all its original shell buttons—a rarity. You can pay both of these treasures a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.

Louise Kelly's Rainier National park blanket and her Pendleton '49er on display.

Our thanks to Judy for sharing her grandmother’s story and her photos.

 

 

Grand Canyon Historic Train Depot Project is Underway!

Editor’s note:

We have been working with the National Park Foundation for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks through donations generated by purchase of select products. You’ve already read about the restoration of the Grand Helical Stairway at Many Glacier Lodge (now complete); this report concerns our second project, a major restoration of the Grand Canyon Train Depot. Here’s an update from the National Park Foundation. 

An old black and white photo of the Grand Canyon depot.

With support from Pendleton and their licensed collaboration partners, the National Park Service facilitated the kick-off of a multi-year project to restore the Historic Grand Canyon Train Depot at Grand Canyon National Park. The full scope of the project will allow future generations to experience and enjoy this popular landmark for many years to come.

Background

The Grand Canyon Depot is a National Historic Landmark constructed in 1910, nine years prior to the Grand Canyon’s official national park designation. The depot is one of three remaining structural log railroad depots in America and still serves an operating railroad. Originally built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, it helped establish the rustic western sense of place for the Grand Canyon. The depot is one of the park’s “front doors,” serving not only as a major arrival point for thousands of visitors each year but a gathering site for over 100 years. Today, it is threatened by serious physical deterioration and fails to meet accessibility standards and adequate function for visitor enjoyment. The restoration project is an attempt to ensure this iconic structure remains accessible and intact in preserving the history of the park.

A color photo of the exterior of the Grand Canyon Train Depot. A historic log building with the words "Grand Canyon" on the front gable.

Project Update

Initial work began in late 2017 to produce a scope of work for updating the Historic Structure Report and completion of structural analysis on certain sections of the depot to create an informed treatment plan. The National Park Service secured professionals for contract services to complete both tasks and entered into agreements to begin these assessments. In May of 2018, a structural engineer, architectural preservationist and wood scientist began visual analysis, condition assessment, and structural integrity testing – all necessary steps to evaluate the current building condition in preparation for restoration and preservation.

A man works on the exterior of the Grand Canyon Depot building.
Using information gathered during the on-site analysis, the team began to determine building decay patterns and draft a treatment plan. At the same time, an architect has continued to update the depot’s existing Historic Structure Report. This report now includes current structural condition assessment and treatment recommendations, with a special focus on the exterior building envelope which includes the roof, siding, log structure, doors and windows.

A man works on the exterior of the Grand Canyon Depot building.

Through these efforts, the National Park Service will have a comprehensive report on the status and integrity of the depot and will have expert recommendations for restoration and repair. Once the information collection and planning pieces are complete, the project will move into the repair phase. Depending on the extent of the treatment recommendations and funding, structural repairs are expected to begin in late 2018 or early 2019.

A man works on the exterior of the Grand Canyon Depot building.

The depot is currently open and in use for railway passenger services under the operation of Grand Canyon Railway. The hope is that the depot will remain open for the duration of repairs. The efforts underway will result in a restored and sustainable train depot, poised to educate visitors about the rich history of the Grand Canyon for decades to come. With over 6 million visits to the Grand Canyon each year, it’s a gift that will have a resounding positive impact on the park and visitor experience.

We appreciate the generous support of Pendleton and their licensed collaboration partners on this critical project. Additional status updates will be provided in 2019 as implementation begins.

We are excited to watch the progress of this much-needed restoration in 2019, and will keep you all posted. Thank you for your support!

You can see our National Parks products here: Pendleton for the National Parks

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo

 

Thank you, Everyone: Your Gift to the National Parks.

Thank you for your support!

Throughout 2016, we have been donating a portion of the proceeds from all our National Park Collection merchandise to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to help support restoration and preservation of two historic national park landmarks. All of our National Park Collection collaboration partners have donated as well. This means that with  every purchase you’ve made, you’ve also made a donation!

“Every single dollar that was donated through your purchases makes a big difference for these incredible gems in our national parks and the people who visit them,” said Susan Newton, Senior Vice President of Grants and Programs at the National Park Foundation. “Ensuring that our national parks and historic sites are preserved well into the future is a responsibility that we proudly share with you, and we are grateful to partners like Pendleton for supporting this goal.”

Projects in Process

Take a look at the two projects you’re helping to make possible:

Fountain and spiral stair at Lake Level of Many Glacier Hotel. Courtesy Glacier National Park

Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park 

Many Glacier, a beautiful Swiss style lodge nestled in an unparalleled mountain panorama in Glacier National Park, is often called the most photogenic of the great National Park Lodges. Pendleton’s contribution is supporting the restoration of the historic lobby of the Many Glacier Hotel, including rebuilding of the helical stairway.

Many Glacier Hotel’s helical stairs were completed in 1917 as the hotel’s showpiece. The grand helix-shaped staircase led to a magnificent upper-floor lake view, but was removed in the 1950s, along with historic lighting fixtures. The removal of the staircase and lighting fixtures led to the gradual degradation of the historic character of this renowned National Historic Landmark.

Nikki Eisinger, Director of Development, Glacier National Park Conservancy, said of the project, “Many Glacier reflects majestically over Swiftcurrent Lake and is often referred to as ‘The Lady’ in our park.  To recreate the historic look and feel of The Lady has been an incredible undertaking. We are so grateful for the support to make these renovations possible.  When the replica of her original iconic helical stairway is installed this spring, and the lobby restoration is complete, we will have truly done this architectural gem a huge historic favor, having restored her to her original grandeur.”

VIntage photo of the Grand Canyon depot.

Grand Canyon Train Depot, Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon Train Depot in Grand Canyon Village is one of the park’s “front doors,” serving as a major arrival point for thousands of visitors each year and used as a meeting place for adventurers for over 100 years. This National Historic Landmark is one of the park’s most-photographed man made structures. Pendleton’s contributions are helping improve accessibility and preserve the character of this popular landmark for the future.

“The depot is currently open and currently operated by Grand Canyon Railroad,” said Craig Chenevert of Grand Canyon National Park. “The project is quite extensive, and with support from Pendleton we will begin the process to update the depot’s Historic Structure Report. This document will include an updated and prioritized treatment plan that will inform the sequence of future work.”

Progress! It’s thanks to you.

And the helical stairs? Well, just look!

Interior hshot of the Many Glacier Hotel helical stair site, in construction.The Many Glacier Hotel Lobby is being returned to its original and curious decor. Louis Hill’s vision of an East-meets-West style, with Japanese lanterns and log lodge architecture, designed to lure tourists to experience Glacier National Park via the Great Northern Express, will be re-created.

A shot from the interior balcony of the Many Glacier Hotel mezzanine, showing the original footprint of the Helical Stairs on the wooden floor.This photo shows where the floor of the Lobby was filled in over 50 years ago after the removal of the original double helix staircase. By the opening of the hotel next June, the staircase replica will be installed in this spot, and the lobby will be more like it appeared for the first half of The Lady’s life.

It’s really something to see that old footprint for the stairs revealed, isn’t it? A piece of history that will soon be functional and fantastic.

Photo Credit: Glacier National Park Conservancy