Pendleton, Oregon   5 comments

Day 35, Driving to Pendleton, we came up over a hill and saw the beautiful fields of yellow (canola), I quickly grabbed my camera. The fields almost look fake.

Pendleton, Oregon is such a cute little town, with a lot of cowboy history. We started at “Hamley’s,” located right on Main Street.

Hamley’s hand makes saddles and “anybody” who is “anybody” orders their saddle from Hamley’s. They sell cowboy hats, belts, clothing, leather items, robes, etc. They had a handmade rawhide “lasso” robe that is selling for $1,800!!!!!! I thought my son, Robby, had an expensive saddle, but these saddles start at $5,000 and go up to $50,000. Needless to say, we just looked.

We arranged for Parley Pierce, owner and manager of the retail business.

The building is the original building from when the company started 107 years ago as a family business. All the famous cowboys you’ve read and heard about have been patrons of this store, Wild Bill, John Wayne, all the professional rodeo cowboys, even Paul McCartney is one of their present patrons. He enjoyed pointing out all the unique items in the store and telling us the history behind them.

He took us to a huge room upstairs decorated like an old time saloon, which they use for parties and what a beautiful HUGE bar!

The bar was purchased for $60,000, sight unseen. The seller had basically stolen it from a Montana bar, disassembled it to get it into a house, covered the windows and never allowed anyone to see it. Parley and his partner eventually decided they had to have it, met the seller with $60,000 cash in an obscure place and the seller pointed, it’s in that house. This bar has A LOT of history. It came from a saloon in Montana where they had a sign, DO NOT CARVE IN THE BAR. Well, a cowboy walked in and stuck his knife right into the top of the bar. The bartender shot and killed him. The bar has been refinished but you can still see the blood spot.

The chairs and tables in this room were all from different saloons in the West. So, who knows who once sat in the chair that we sat in?

They also acquired the backdrop from the movie “Far And Away” starring Tom Cruise

In the cattlemen’s club room, they have an apothecary that was made in the late 1800s in Montana, which they found in Belgium! They bought it and had it shipped back to Pendleton.

It is huge. It was the whole length of the wall and then some.

These rooms were upstairs in the building so we worked our way over to the Steakhouse, where we found another beautiful bar. The ceiling of the restaurant actually won in a ceiling contest! We had never heard of such a thing, and neither had the owners. One of their customers came in, took a picture of the ceiling and entered it into the contest. It’s all stamped tin. The lights hanging from the ceiling were bought from the Stardust hotel in Las Vegas. We were amazed at all the items that the owners have found to add to their collection in their building which makes it so unique.

Downstairs in the restaurant was a saddle handmade by Hanley’s and hand painted by a 90 year old nun in 1959.


The bank wall from 1880’s, pictured below, came from Belle Fourche, South Dakota. where it was robbed by Butch Cassidy and Kid Curry in 1897.

The liquor cabinet is located in the restaurant area. It came with the upstairs famous bar, but was too big to put upstairs.

There were items all over the store and restaurant of interest to everyone.

Parley was a wealth of information about the entire area.

We also found that there are underground tunnels which housed businesses back in the day. We were told that they are better than the tunnels in Seattle. The woman who bought the candy store said she owned the store for 1 year before she found there was a secret door in the basement which led to a tunnel that goes all the way to the state prison! Supposedly the tunnels were built so that famous and political figures could use the tunnels to secretly visit the brothels.

So, of course, we had to tour the underground. It consisted of saloons, laundry, meat company and last, but not least, brothels.

There are many, many rumors, stories, legends, etc., floating around about these tunnels and all the “goings-ons.”

Before leaving Pendleton, of course, we had to tour the Pendleton Wool factory, especially since that is what Pendleton is noted for. I’m allergic to wool so my eyes starting itching the minute I walked into the store.

It was quite fascinating to see how these machines can turn wool into threads, and then into blankets.

The two hangings pictured below are actually woven wool.


Posted June 23, 2012 by carolnbill in Adventure Caravans, RV, Travel

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5 responses to “Pendleton, Oregon

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  1. Reblogged this on 1 Million Reblogs.

  2. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Next time you visit you will have to include visiting our three museums and enjoy a stroll along the Riverwalk. Thanks for writing and sharing your visit to Pendleton, Oregon!

  3. Pendleton wool is made in Pendleton but not what our city is know for. Visit Tamastslikt Cultural institue, you will be amazed. What we are actually world renown for is our famed Pendleton Round-Up.

  4. Thanks Patty for also bringing attention to the original Pendleton Woolen Mills, another not to miss attraction offering free tours Mon – Friday of the still operational Mill. Another don’t miss is the Pendleton Underground Tour which takes you back to the Wild West Days of Pendleton!

  5. Patty, you are quite right that the Pendleton Round-Up is a pretty big thing for Pendleton, but since their woolens are sold all over the country, I thought more people would recognize them for their woolens. But I do believe the Round-Up in September is quite a sight to see.

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