A guided 90-minute walk exploring Pendleton’s colorful role in the “Old West,” mostly beneath the downtown area, is offered by Pendleton Underground Tours. Here, you’ll follow historic tunnels connecting speakeasies, opium dens, the living quarters of Chinese workers, the town’s jail and even a meat market, where keeping the meat fresh was aided by underground storage.
Revealing throughout what was once the seedier part of Pendleton’s pioneer past, the tour also includes an above-ground visit to one of the town’s notorious brothels, the “Working Girls Hotel,” which was the last of its type to be closed down in 1953. In my humble opinion, the “Underground Tour” here is far more interesting than its better-known (but otherwise unrelated) cousin offered in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.
Although tour schedules vary, arrangements can be made for groups year-round. Contact (541) 276-0730 or visit www.pendletonundergroundtours.org.