Some historians estimate that , settlers made the trek by wagon and on foot between and Most of those trips started in St. Joseph or Independence — where final provisions for the 5 month journey were acquired before embarking on the grand westward adventure that started by crossing the Midwestern prairie. Many were leaving for the rest of their lives. Wool blankets were on the provisions list of every trip — for sleeping and trading with Native Americans along the way. Joseph, the Buell Woolen Mill was the primary source for blankets headed west. Known for quality over quantity, the blankets were strikingly colorful and many designs were based on patterns used by different Native tribes in paintings and beadwork out west.
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Dating pendleton blanket labels history Pendleton Woolen Mills. The company still operates a mill in Pendleton and continues to be run by the Bishop family. It handles all aspects of production from sourcing the wool to the actual weaving of the blankets. The company took particular care to learn about the native mythologies and design preferences of its Native American customers. That tradition continues today.