W E L C O M E T O
E N D L E T O N
O R E G O N
The Wild West comes alive in Pendleton, Oregon. Nationally famous for
its annual Roundup, Pendleton is an old cow town set in between
the steep hills along the Umatilla River in the center of a large
ranching and farming area. Settlers passed by here in the 1840s
when traveling on the Oregon Trail. It is one of the largest towns
in eastern Oregon, and Umatilla's county seat. Pendleton is the
trading center for extensive wheat and green pea production from
the surrounding Umatilla county area.
Tours of the nationally known Pendleton Woolen Mills are popular.
Started by Thomas Kay in 1909 to weave blankets for the Indians,
the blankets are still produced there today, along with men's
and women's sportswear. State-of-the-art tours of the factory
start with individual headsets for visitors. They include seeing
the spinning machines and watching the shuttles of the automatic
looms weaving the brightly colored, geometric Pendleton designs.
Pendleton's underground tunnels, dug by the Chinese between 1870
and 1930, lie underneath Pendleton's historic
district. In 1989, some of the tunnels were restored and exhibits
and mannequins used to recreate the businesses that used to be
located there. These businesses included ice plants, butcher shops,
and Chinese laundrys, as well as illegal saloons, bordellos and
opium dens. Take the tour and learn all about Pendleton's wild
past. An above ground "Cozy Room" tour takes you to
Miss Stella's bordello and boarding house. A notable fact is that
in the past, Pendleton's population of 3,000 once supported 18
bordellos and 32 saloons.
Rodeo fans will enjoy the Round-up Hall of Fame, which is located
under the south grandstands of the Rodeo Grounds. It features
the history of the Pendleton Roundup, one of America's largest
and oldest rodeos, as well as cowboy and Indian memorabilia. Train
buffs should visit the Umatilla County Historical Society Museum,
located in Pendleton's 1909 train depot. Displays include historic
photographs, memorabilia of the area's sheep industry and wool
mills, local Indian artifacts and even a working railroad telegraph
The brick front downtown storefronts and beautiful Queen Anne
homes of nearby residential area transport you to the Western
era. The friendly hospitality of the locals make you want to stay
and enjoy the Wild West flavor of Pendleton.