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The History of Pendleton Wool
Since 1863, Pendleton has been the product of a pioneer heritage. It's a story that begins with the arrival of a young Englishman, Thomas Kay, to the Oregon territory in 1863. Full of ambition and experienced in wool manufacturing, it wasn't long before he fulfilled his lifelong dream by building his own mill in Oregon's lush Willamette Valley. His daughter, Fanny, who worked with him in the mill, married a retail clothing merchant, C.P. Bishop, bringing together merchandising and manufacturing expertise. This combination formed the background and understanding of the textile and apparel industry that continues to be reflected in Pendleton's family management today. In 1909, Thomas Kay's grandsons, C.M., R.T. and R.C. Bishop, continued the family tradition with the purchase of an idle wool sourcing facility in Pendleton, Oregon. The Bishop brothers began producing quality bed and Indian blankets in vivid colors and intricate designs inspired by the Native American tribes of the region. Their high quality, excellent value and long lasting beauty were highly regarded by both settlers and Native Americans alike. The tradition continues to this day.