The City of Pendleton, Oregon began its colorful history in the early 1860's when Moses Goodwin purchased land from a squatter for a pair of horses.
In 1868 the Umatilla County Court had a three-member selection committee determine a site for the County Buildings. The site selected between Birch and Wildhorse Creeks was named Pendleton in honor of U.S. Senator George H. Pendleton
A City Hall was constructed in 1908. The Umatilla River levy and the water transmission line were completed around 1915. The early Council minutes reveal the colorful history of Pendleton; the city's first ordinance dealt directly with drunkenness in public places, fights, and discharging of guns within city limits.
A successful July 4th celebration in 1909 that included bronc riding, Indian horse races, native cultural pageantry, and non-native games inspired community leaders to establish the annual event known today as the Pendleton Round-Up.
The "Let'er Buck!" whoop that can be heard throughout the arena at the most exciting moments of rodeo events is the echo of the call that started things off when the Round-Up first began in 1910.
Pendleton has a western pride and engaging spirit that gave the town its hearty beginnings over 130 years ago, and still define it today. The locals enjoy a downtown filled with fine restaurants, maker's workshops and a collection of bronze statues that are a welcome reminder of Pendleton's storied past.
Pendleton enjoys a healthy tourism industry, both steeped in tradition and ever-changing. The world-famous Pendleton Round-Up showcases the top riders and ropers from around the country. The Pendleton Underground Tours salutes the sacrifices of the people who made the city tick over 100 years ago. Meanwhile, a hip new distillery turns out smooth whiskey and locally-topped pizzas all day long. The Pendleton Woolen Mills has an 85-year history of quality blankets and Indian folklore patterns, yet still offers fresh looks each season.
Unique origins, shared history.
Come to Tamástslikt Cultural Institute and experience the storied past, rich present and bright future of our tribes through interactive exhibits, special events and a Living Culture Village.
More than just a museum, Tamástslikt celebrates the traditions of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes. With dramatic exhibits, renowned artwork and interesting — and yes, fun — events year-round.
Tamástslikt Cultural Institute offers a 10,000-year-voyage in a single afternoon.
While the rodeo is the heart of the Round-Up week, the Round-Up refers to all of the excitement and events that draw thousands to Pendleton every second week of September for over 100 years.
Whether it’s the Happy Canyon Night Show Pageant, the Indian pow-wows and vendor booths, the Westward-Ho! Parade or the nightly shows on Main Street, the whole town transforms into a fun-filled festival with something for everyone during Round-Up.
Casey Beard, Gen. Manager
Wwii & After
The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, nicknamed the "Triple Nickels" was a WWII African-American unit of the U.S. Army stationed in Pendleton in 1945.
The heroic volunteer 555th was America's only African-American parachute unit. Their insignia was a black panther crouching atop a white parachute.
Charged with defusing Japanese incendiary balloon bombs at the end of the war, the Triple Nickel went on to battle NW forest fires as the region's original wild land firefighting "smokejumpers".