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Taking a Blanket Home with a #pendle10park Explorer: Yosemite National Park

Taylor_IMG_9272_BYosemite Valley, carved by glaciers and the Merced River, came to public attention in the 1860s, through the journalistic efforts of a Scottish immigrant named John Muir. He wrote countless articles describing the wonders of Yosemite, raising awareness that helped contribute to the eventual preservation of the area for generations to come.

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Yosemite is not America’s first National Park. The Yosemite wilderness and Mariposa redwood grove were designated as protected wilderness areas in 1864, with legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. But Yellowstone National Park was created a full eighteen years before Yosemite.

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The original wilderness did not include Yosemite Valley and its world-famous landmarks—El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. The park as we know it was expanded after Teddy Roosevelt asked John Muir to guide him on a camping expedition to Yosemite in 1903.

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Their night in the Mariposa Grove inspired one of Teddy’s most memorable quotes, in which he compared his night in the grove to “lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hands of man.” Muir lobbied the president to expand the park to include lands already in California’s possession, and in 1906, President Roosevelt signed a law that brought the Yosemite Valley under federal jurisdiction.

Here at Pendleton, we’re dismayed to write this, but domesticated sheep were once the primary threat to Yosemite. One threat? Shepherds who set meadow-fires to promote the growth of more edible grasses for their far-ranging flocks. The sheep caused trouble, too, destroying sub-alpine meadows and passing diseases to the native bighorn sheep. This prompted naturalist John Muir to call them “hoofed locusts.”

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The original Yosemite Park Rangers were Buffalo Soldiers. According to the Yosemite National park website:

Buffalo Soldiers, like their white counterparts in U.S. Army regiments, were among the first park rangers, in general, and backcountry rangers, in particular, patrolling parts of the West…Approximately 500 Buffalo Soldiers served in Yosemite National Park and nearby Sequoia National Park with duties from evicting poachers and timber thieves to extinguishing forest fires. Their noteworthy accomplishments were made despite the added burden of racism.

You can read the entire (fascinating) history, listen to a podcast and watch a video of a modern-day re-enactor who works in Yosemite here: Yosemite’s Buffalo Soldiers .

Another item of interest? The Buffalo Soldiers inspired the traditional Park Ranger hat. Many were Spanish-American War veterans who had shielded themselves from tropical rains of Cuba and the Philippines by pinching their high-crowned, broad-brimmed hats into symmetrical quadrants. This distinctive peak was known as the “Montana Peak” on the home front, and eventually became part of the National Park Service ranger uniform.

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Some Yosemite numbers:

Over 4 million visitors arrive each year to experience the 747,956 acres of wilderness, on 840 miles of hiking trails.

The mountains at Yosemite national park are still growing at a rate of 1 foot per thousand years.

Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest falls in the world, 2425 feet in height. That means in 1000 years, it will be 2426 feet tall, but of course we won’t be around to see that.

There are three Sequoia groves in Yosemite. Sequoias are the largest living things on the planet, with some reaching 300 feet in height, living for 3,000 years.

At 4000 feet high, El Capitan is the largest block of granite in the known world.

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Are you ready for your own adventures? We’d love to come along. And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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Yosemite Blanket photos: Allie Taylor @alliemtaylor

Pendleton Experiences in the Grand Canyon

It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world; 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon took millions of years to form and just keeps changing. The deepest point in the canyon is a mile deep. A mile. That’s 5,280 feet, in case you’ve forgotten. Yes, this is one heck of a canyon.

Close to five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. They arrive by car, train and bus, and plenty of them come to stay for longer than an afternoon. The Park has many wonderful campgrounds, but read up on reservations, restrictions and costs. The key word to get the most out of the Grand Canyon is simply “planning.”

We asked some of our fantastic Pendleton people if they’d share their Grand Canyon experiences on the blog. They sent some beautiful photos, and some Pendleton employee park memory stories that illustrate how they took on the Canyon.

Phillip shared his experience with camping on the North Rim:

A few years ago my family took a road trip to the Southwest and visited Bryce Canyon, Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was an amazing family adventure.

Wiant Family Zion

 

When we arrived at the Grand Canyon and were setting up camp, we realized that my son Henry had forgotten to stow the crank that raises our tent trailer when we left our previous location (I think it was Zion). We polled all of the other campers and no one had a crank. Fortunately I was able to use a wrench to raise the trailer so we didn’t have to leave or sleep on the ground! 

The trip was definitely worth it.

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North Rim Henry & Violet 1

Another Pendleton person, Annetta, has taken trips with her extended family to many of the National Parks.

Hiking with my son and our entire family, especially nieces and nephews, has bonded us through some unique experiences. The National Parks have been a big part of it.  Every get-together something comes up from one these trips, generating lots of laughter.

In 2004, we all went to the Grand Canyon. Me, my son, all my siblings and their kids hiked down Bright Angel trail to Phantom Ranch to spend the night.

Below: the kids on Silver Bridge crossing the Colorado to Phantom Ranch.

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We might be smiling, but it was 118 degrees down by the water that day, and we still had several miles to go. Brutal.

The group got ahead of me on the way to Phantom Ranch and because we were so close we didn’t follow our rule and give the last person in line (me) the second walkie-talkie. I missed the turn, ending up on Black Bridge. I yelled down at river rafters for directions. When I realized I’d gone a quarter mile in the wrong direction, the walls of the Canyon echoed with words that are probably not printable.

My son did come back to find me, and very relieved to see me, and not happy about backtracking. The hike is 12 miles each way! We all agreed that the dinner that night at the ranch was the best we had eaten in our lives. No doubt the hike had something to do with that.

Below, all of us at Phantom Ranch on the morning of hiking out.  It was a very quiet breakfast, as we were all thinking about that climb. But we made it!

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After hiking out that morning my nephew took his pipes and played them at the canyon edge in the evening. Ah, the energy of youth. 

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Which brings me to my best tip for hiking the Grand Canyon: Take teenagers along who can pack your extra water.

The only place in the world that you can get hiking sticks with Phantom Ranch burned into them is at the ranch itself.  The kids all still have theirs and use them to this day on other hikes with pride. When people ask about those walking sticks, the kids say casually, “Oh this? Yeah, I got it at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.”

Are you ready for your own adventures? We’d love to come along. And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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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

 

Happy 4th of July!

To all of  you from all of us here at Pendleton Woolen Mills. Have the best Independence Day ever!

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Brandon Burk Photography

Backpack by Hold Fast Gear

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

It’s our most popular National Park Series blanket; but did you know that it is also our oldest? Yes, the Glacier National Park blanket was originally commissioned by the president of the Great Northern Railway. Like the National Park Service, our blanket is 100 years old this year.

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We asked an intrepid photographer to take this blanket home as part of our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. She and her crew flew into the park!

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Once they landed, they explored and enjoyed this magnificent northern beauty.

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Glacier Park is located in Northern Montana, along the Canadian border. In fact, Glacier was joined with Canada’s Waterton Park as the first world’s first International Peace Park in 1932. The Goat Haunt Ranger Station is located at the center of the Peace Park, and is the only place in the country where you may cross the border without going through customs. In fact, you will receive a special mountain goat-shaped stamp in your passport to commemorate your crossing.

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Glacier Park scarf                                                                                             Glacier Park water bottle

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Glacier covers 1,583 square miles (over a million acres). It is a vast wilderness most famous for its field of 25 named glaciers. Its largest, Blackfoot Glacier, covers almost ¾ of a square mile. Though 25 glaciers is an impressive sight, in 1850 there were an estimated 150 glaciers in the park. So, you need to see them while you can. They are magnificent.

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photo credit

Because of its remote location, Glacier has retained most of its flora and fauna, with the exception of the American Plains Bison and the woodland caribou. But at least one four-hooved resident remains and thrives in the park: the mountain goat is Glacier’s official symbol, and adorns the label of the Glacier National Park blanket.

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Glacier Park beanie

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The Great Northern Railway was instrumental in enlarging public awareness of Glacier as a tourist destination. The Great Northern line crossed the Continental Divide near what is now the southern entrance to the park. The president of the railroad, James J. Hill, foresaw a grand opportunity for passenger travel. Great Northern was responsible for much of the building in the park, a unique mix of European architecture and American materials that became known as “parkitecture.”

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During the years of World War II, many of these charming buildings fell into disrepair, and some were lost. Thankfully, more than 350 structures have been saved, and are registered as National Historic Landmarks. The Many Glacier Hotel is one of the largest and most popular of these original structures. Pendleton is excited to be contributing to the hotel’s restoration, and you contribute to our efforts every time you make a purchase from the Pendleton National Park Collection. We will tell you a little more about this in June!

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a fifty-three-mile drive through the park that crosses the Continental Divide at Logan’s Pass. On this ride, known for stunning views, narrow lanes and sheer drop-offs, you can marvel at the glaciers while white-knuckle-gripping your steering wheel. Or, you can go in one of the park’s Jammers, and leave the driving to someone else. The road is a huge draw for the Park, but with an average of almost 140 inches of snow a year, you simply can’t know if a June snowstorm will shut down access. Track the current road status here. And watch a video below!

 

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Glacier park blanket wrap

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Glacier Park mug

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Irey_Glacier-(50)Our thanks to photographer Kristian Irey, one of our favorite #pendle10parks explorers.

Follow her on Instagram:   @kristianirey

More at her website: http://www.kristianirey.com

Shop the Glacier Park collection here: SHOP

Pendleton Woolen Mills Receives Fisher House Patriots Award

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Pendleton is proud to be the recipient of the Fisher House Patriots Award. The award was presented on March 23, 2016, at the opening of the  70th Fisher House location in Vancouver, Washington.

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We are honored to be part of this compassionate endeavor. The Fisher Houses provide a comforting, first-class “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide free temporary lodging, so military and Veterans’ families can be close to the loved ones during medical crisis.

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Pendleton has supported the Fisher House Foundation since 2006. We do this by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Grateful Nation blanket and Grateful Nation vest to the Fisher House Foundation.  The Patriots Award recognizes this contribution, and will be displayed in our Heritage hallway. The engraving on the hand-finished crystal face of the award is etched with the following words:

Presented to Pendleton Woolen Mills

Recognizing extraordinary efforts supporting the quality of life of

our greatest treasure…

our military service men and women and their families

 

Overall last year, the Fisher House Foundation has helped in these ways:

  • Families served: More than 27,000 in 2015
  • Daily capacity: 931 families
  • Families served: More than 277,000 since inception
  • Number of lodging days offered: Over 6 million
  • 7,000 students have received $11,000,000 in scholarship awards
  • Over 58,000  airline tickets provided by Hero Miles to service members and their families, worth nearly $88 million

Fisher House Foundation is a unique, private/public partnership formed to support America’s military heroes, both Veterans and active duty service members, in their time of medical need. We are extraordinarily proud to support the Foundation’s humanitarian work serving those who have fought for our country.

At the March 23rd Fisher House ribbon cutting ceremony, John Bishop, Pendleton Chairman and 5th generation family, presented a special, custom-embroidered Grateful Nation blanket to the staff at this newest location.

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On Monday, March 28, the first families to reside at the Vancouver campus Fisher House crossed its threshold. The Foundation expects to serve 500 families in the new site in 2016.

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Photos courtesy of the Fisher House Foundation. Used with permission.

If you would like more information on the Grateful Nation blanket and the Grateful Nation vest, please read our earlier blog posts here: Grateful Nation.

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A Pendleton Adventure with the Grey Wolves of Yellowstone

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The gray 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. They are strategic, efficient and effective predators. They are also protected within the park, but this was not always the case.

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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 gray wolf was especially vulnerable, even after the Secretary of the Interior regulated hunting in 1873. As an “undesirable predator,” the gray 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.

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.

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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.

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

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!

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Here’s Katie at the time (left). She doesn’t look too traumatized by her National Park adventure with wolves…

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.

 

We did a custom mug for Yellowstone featuring the grey wolf here: Grey Wolf Mug

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

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