Cutting the Ribbon
Those of you who have been shopping with us know that our Woolen Mill Store is a unique location among Pendleton’s 30+ stores. Well, we are here to tell you about another unique store you’ll want to see in Oregon.
This month, we were excited to cut the ribbon and celebrate the opening of a Pendleton store at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon–a place some of you know as home to the Sheep to Shawl fiber festival each spring.
This store marks the return of descendants of English Master Weaver Thomas Kay to the site of his namesake mill. In 1863, when Kay came to Oregon, he played a strong role in establishing the state’s wool trade and eventually opened his own mill in 1890. Thomas Kay’s grandsons, Clarence, Roy, and Chauncey Bishop, went on to open Pendleton Woolen Mills in 1909, and the rest is, well, history!
What You’ll Find
The new WHC store is small but mighty. In a charmingly industrial space, it features goods from Pendleton’s two USA woolen mills: table cut fabric and remnants, with a sewing and felting craft focus.
Shoppers will also find a curated assortment of Pendleton’s iconic apparel, home, gifts, and accessories.
Throughout the store, informative displays and graphics tell the story of Oregon’s wool industry, alongside the history of Salem, Oregon’s state capitol.
Other displays show our historic (but state-of-the-Art!) mills over the years, and explain our philanthropic partnerships, and key elements of our company’s growth from our deep Oregon roots.
The Willamette Heritage Center
Along with shopping and special events, visitors to the Willamette Heritage Center can take a self-guided tour of the Thomas Kay mill, the place where Pendleton’s weaving legacy began. And speaking of the Center, there is so much more to see here.
The Willamette Heritage Center connects generations by preserving and interpreting Mid-Willamette Valley history. The fourteen historic structures on site house permanent and changing exhibits, a research library and archive, a textile learning center, and rentable event spaces. The five-acre campus is also home to retail shops, art galleries, cooperative artist studios, and offices for our partner organizations. (source)
Since 1964, the Mission Mill Museum Association (now the Willamette Heritage Center) has worked on the restoration and interpretation of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill. Learn more about the Willamette Heritage Center here: https://www.willametteheritage.org/
We are excited for this new store, with Pendleton returning to where we began.