The gold standard of American manufacturers, Wyoming’s own Sheridan Tent & Awning gives grade-A cover to a range of outdoor enthusiasts.
Written by Jenn Thornton
At its founding in 1909, Sheridan Tent & Awning did what folks did in the American West during that era—it staked a claim. In this case as a local purveyor of classic canvas wall tents for cowboys and hunters, and awing for new shops, throughout Wyoming and Montana. Come the 1920s, the company was outfitting commercial enterprises with sturdy custom covers, tarps, curtains, shades and other reliably made fabric goods, and selling canvas tents and cowboy range teepees to locals and visitors for various outdoor expeditions. Flash forward to today and this big-tent operation supplies tents, teepees and bags to some of the oldest ranches, beloved western retail brands and popular glamping destinations in the U.S. and over a dozen countries across the world.
The question is perhaps, then, too obvious: How, through world wars, financial crises, natural disasters, two pandemics and who knows how many potentially upending events in between did Sheridan Tent get here? “After more than 110 years in business, we know that great craftsmanship begins with the stitching of the fabric and the quality of the raw goods,” states owner Don Gould. “When customers are handing tents down from generation to generation, and businesses are counting on you to save time and money while protecting their assets, you’ve got to deliver on your promises.” This is quintessential American West thinking, and speaks to a country that, for a long time, ran on good faith and handshakes.
Despite its reach, Sheridan Tent maintains a Main Street spirit. The key to the company’s longevity is an easy one for Don: “We haven’t changed our commitment to producing products that last,” he says. “Our team has a deep sense of pride in everything we make, and we don’t cut corners to make a few more dollars or chase fads. Everything we produce is made in Sheridan, Wyoming, USA.” If not cut from the same cloth—like Wyoming itself, Sheridan Tent wares are sturdy, utilitarian and ruggedly beautiful. “Our stitching and construction are, frankly, the best, and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” Don says. “These are skills we’ve built from years of experience and we’re proud of that.”
In its allegiances to quality and craftsmanship Sheridan Tent is meeting the moment—one that is, coincidentally, turning toward what’s timeless, including the desire for value and knowing one’s maker, so to speak. “Our goods were born out of a real need in the American West, a place where you stand by your products and keep your promises,” says Don, referencing a principle still appreciated in what John Wayne represented. As for what shelter Don would have given Duke? A range tent, he says. “In all those classic westerns I’ve watched, so often he was always sleeping in the open. The man deserves a night under canvas.”
Born two years apart—Wayne in 1907, Sheridan in 1909—each brand is a manifestation of Western culture that, as Don puts it, respects authenticity and hard work. “Sheridan Tent is and always will be an authentically Western brand. We like to say we earn our keep with every stitch—because that’s the truth. Sheridan Tent has a rich history, and we’ve stood the test of time for more than 110 years. Anyone who’s carried on a brand legacy for that long in the U.S. knows this requires real grit and vision.” Someone like Wayne. “We love where we live and what we do.”
Photos courtesy of Sheridan Tent & Awning (except where noted). Feature image courtesy of Sheridan Travel & Tourism