Eldorado is located in the heart of the premier wool and mohair
producing area of Texas. The Eldorado Woolen Mill, founded on November 3, 1939, was the
first woolen mill ever built in the State of Texas. The mill was intended to process Texas
wool, so that Texans could create a finished product that represented Texas heritage and
|The Eldorado Woolen Mill was the inspiration of native son Joe Muller
Christian, and his father J. B. Christian president of the First National Bank of
Local limestone for the building was quarried on the Will Whitten and J. B. Christian ranches in Schleicher County. The greatest part of the original machinery was bought from a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The oldest piece of the machinery currently in the mill is the German-made
"Peralta", a part of the card: it was made in the 1880's by Duessel Bosson.
|During the Nazi bombing blitz of London, refugee blankets were woven at the
Eldorado Woolen Mill. Local ranchers would designate part of their clip for "Blankets
for Britain" at the wool warehouse. Beginning in July of 1942; however, all civilian
production stopped, and the mill went into full-time war production. The mill employed 20
people at the time, and ran 16 hours a day, six days a week. 24,300 blankets for the U.S.
Army were shipped out by rail from Eldorado.
One soldier returned after the war to see the mill, declaring that he had made a vow to see the mill that saved his life. His small boat had been hit by a torpedo. With water pouring in, the only thing available to stuff in the breach was a box of Eldorado Army blankets.
Woolen Mill's First Blanket. Arthur Howatt, Joe Muller Christian and J.B. Christian
|After the war, the "olive drab" Army green was replaced by a brilliant
rainbow of hues.
Ranchers from at east 40 states took advantage of the "Custom Weaving Program", sending in part of the wool and accepting finished blankets in exchange. In the drought-stricken 1950's, such a cash-free barter transaction was a boon to western ranchers.
J.B. Christian, Ernest Sweatt and Claude Meador
During 1963-1968, the mill production expanded to include shalies, South American-style ruanas, mouton pillows and gun scabbards, dresses, saddle blankets, and fine mohair casement draperies. Upholstery fabric was shipped as far away as Sweden, France, and Saudi Arabia.
Two Governors of Texas have been loyal customers and supporters of the Eldorado Woolen Mill. Governor John B. Conally purchased mohair drapery and mouton rugs, while Governor Dolph Briscoe bought large numbers of red blankets to give away as wedding presents. He ordered so many of the blankets, always the same color, that mill workers began to call the color "Dolph Briscoe Red".
The Texas Historical Commission, on July 27, 1995, designated the Eldorado Woolen Mill as a Registered Landmark for its merit as part of the unique heritage of the State of Texas. A product from the Eldorado Woolen Mill is a true piece of Texas history.
|When discussing ideas for a logo. A logo itself, just didn't seem adequate to represent something with such strong Texas Heritage. Since Texas History is rich with ranchers, livestock, and brands. The idea to use a brand was perfect to symbolize all the mill represent to us.|
Eldorado Woolen Mill Brand combines the rafter as a symbol of the mill and the phoenix of it's rebirth
The Eldorado Woolen Mill is owned by the non- profit organization "Old Eldorado Woolen Mill Foundation". From the beginning, the Mill has been privately owned. "The Foundation" was formed in 1995 by concerned locals, when the Mill was put up for sale. They wanted to save and preserve the Woolen Mill, for it's historical value to the community, to the wool and mohair industry, and for its place in Texas history.
They had many fund raising activities, and sold "private shares" in the Mill to locals and many who had roots in Eldorado. It took almost a year. The founder of the "Foundation' was Rev. Hawley Wolfe. Now, this non-profit organization maintains the building from tours, fundraisers, and tax-exempt donations from people and businesses that want to preserve this historical treasure.
The mill held a re-enactment of the Grand Opening in February of 2001. There are always repairs needing to be made. We would ask that you consider a tax-exempt donation to "The Foundation", in order to preserve this State of Texas history.
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