Pendleton Mill lands on great American factory tours list

Free guided walks are available on weekdays

CNN.com recently included the Pendleton Woolen Mill, in Washougal, on its list of “Nine Great American Factory Tours.”

The online article included some information and comments from Karen Axelrod and Bruce Brumberg, authors of the book “Watch it Made in the U.S.A.: A Visitor’s Guide to the Best Factory Tours and Company Museums.”

The mill, at Two Pendleton Way, has 200 employees who manufacture wool textiles for use in blankets, men’s and women’s clothing and upholstery.

“I like the Pendleton tour, because it emphasizes the company’s history and tradition,” Axelrod said, in the article.

The 300,000-square-foot mill was originally called the Union Woolen Mills in 1912. The Washougal mill, which is Pendleton’s second, has a historic bell — dating to 1863– from the mill in Brownsville, Oregon.

The company was founded in Pendleton, Oregon, in 1909.

Charlie Bishop, executive vice president of manufacturing at Pendleton Woolen Mills, said the company is honored to be included with some of the most recognized brands in the world on the CNN list.

“People come from all over the world to Washougal to visit the mill and take the tour to see how our woolen products are produced,” he said. “There is a renewed interest in craftsmanship and knowing how and where products are made.

“Visitors are always amazed to learn how much work goes into spinning yarns and weaving fabrics,” Bishop added. “Our employees take pride in demonstrating their skills and attention to quality.”

He said the work of the city of Washougal and the businesses near Pendleton to revitalize downtown Washougal with shopping, services, dining and recreation, has helped to enhance the visitors’ experience.

In 2012, Pendleton Woolen Mill was selected as the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Year.”

Other companies included on the CNN.com list are Boeing, Mukilteo, Washington; Harley-Davidson, Kansas City, Missouri; Huy Fong Foods, Irwindale, California; Fender, Corona, California; Airstream, Jackson Center, Ohio; Jelly Belly, Fairfield, California; Ford, Dearborn, Michigan; and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Waterbury, Vermont. The link to the article is available at www.cnn.com/2015/05/12/travel/american-factory-tours.

Complimentary tours are scheduled through the Pendleton mill’s retail store. The tours, which take 45 minutes to one hour, are held Monday through Friday, at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and by special request.

The Pendleton store, which features blankets, clothing, fabric and accessories, is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the Pendleton tours, call 835-1118 or visit www.pendletonmillstore.com.

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