For most people, any mention of the Oregon landscape likely conjures up images of misty forests filled with dripping cedars. In fact, the majority of the state, which lies east of the Cascades, is fairly arid and even contains areas of bonafide High Desert. Sparsely populated, it’s an area of austere beauty and rustic, almost stereotypical Western towns (ironically, in Oregon one has to travel east to experience the imagined West). It’s out on these sweeping plains where Imperial Stock Ranch has operated for more than 145 years.
A family owned and operated working ranch consisting of more than 32,000 acres, Imperial Stock Ranch is both a window into the past and a vision for the future. The vast landscape, home to elk, antelope, and countless birds is punctuated by historic structures including remote settler’s cabins. The main ranch buildings comprise a National Historic District. However, the ranch is firmly rooted in the present and focused on the future: under the leadership of owners Dan and Jeanne Carver it has become a model for thoughtful land stewardship and sustainable agriculture practices (not to mention superb and generous hospitality).
Our connection to the ranch comes from our Imperial Stock Ranch throw blankets. Once per year, the sheep of the ranch are carefully sheared of their wool by experienced ranch hands, and this naturally renewable, organic resource is then transformed into a range of yarns and fibers. Carefully milled without harsh chemicals, the yarns are exquisitely soft and beautiful. Transformed by weavers into blankets, the end result is heirloom quality and 100% U.S made.
We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the ranch as guests of the Carvers' and to experience this inspiring place.