Director Dan P. Smythe was chairman of the accommodations committee, which saw that the expected thousands of visitors to Pendleton and the Round-Up got to eat and sleep, and without being forced to pay jacked-up prices.

About 2 1/2 months before the second annual Round-Up, 1,000 folding single beds were purchased by the committee. The beds, in turn, were resold at cost to hotels, lodging houses, and private home owners who had a spare room or two. An agreement was then entered into concerning room rental charges; a charge of not more than $2 per day was to be made for a double bed in a room, $1.50 for a single bed in a room, and $1 per day for a single bed in a room containing two or more beds.

Country folks driving into Pendleton to attend the big show were made aware of the free Byers Grove camping site which was within walking distance of both the business district and the Round-Up grounds. Hay, grain, and firewood, at town prices, were delivered daily to the campsite. All of the local feed yards and livery stables had made special preparations to accommodate other visiting horsebackers and buggy and wagon tourists electing to put up at hotels.

Eating facilities were ample. Aside from a score of downtown hotel dining rooms and restaurants, members of three local churches volunteered to prepare and serve lunches and dinners daily.

Here is a partial list of winners of the 1911 Round-Up. Bronc riding: John Spain, Telocaset, first; George Fletcher, Pendleton, second. Steer roping: Roy Moss, Wenana. Bulldogging: Buffalo Vernon. Stagecoach race: John Spain. Wild horse race: Sid Seale, Arlington. Steer and cow riding (no bulls) was a mount money deal, and trick riding, and cowgirls’ bronc riding were all contract exhibition events.

SharkeyBull 1913 webA 1913 photo of “Happy Jack” Hawn’s black bull named Sharkey doing his thing. There was a tidy sum of money up for any cowboy riding Sharkey in a saddle; a lot tried, but not many weathered the storm. Photo by WH File.

The 3-day affair drew and estimated 35,000 spectators. The cost of producing 1911 Round-Up was set at around $11,000, which left a tidy profit. That year, and all ensuing years, however, saw all profits plowed back into improving and enlarging the Round-Up and facilities.

The wooden-covered grandstand burned down in 1940 and was replaced with a concrete structure of more modern design. The old wooden bleachers, though, stood for 50 years. In 1961 they were torn down and an array of steel and concrete seating sections was erected. Estimates of the Round-Up plant’s worth today range from $3 million to $5 million.


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