Gorman House (photo courtesy of Liz Carter)

Seeking Information About Oregon’s African American Historic Places

The Oregon Black Pioneers, in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), has launched a new property survey project entitled Preserving Oregon’s African American Historic Places. The purpose of the project is to protect and preserve significant sites related to Oregon’s African history from the time period of 1844 to 1984.

Who Are the Oregon Black Pioneers?

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Oregon Black Pioneers is the state’s premier organization dedicated to illuminating African Americans’ contributions to Oregon history through research, publications, exhibits, and community outreach. With the help of a dedicated African American Historic Sites Committee, we are honored to work with SHPO to help preserve and protect African American historic places. Our ultimate goal for this property survey is to nominate significant African American historic sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

Amazing Discoveries

Gorman House (photo courtesy of Kim Moreland)

Gorman House
(photo courtesy of Kim Moreland)

The revelation of relatively unknown and/or hidden African American historic sites and places promises to add yet another dimension to Oregon’s rich history. Pictured to the right is an early settlement era, gothic revival style home located in Corvallis that belonged to Black pioneers Hannah Gorman and Eliza Gorman. Hannah and her six year old daughter, Eliza came across the Oregon Trail in 1844 with the John Thorp family and resided in Corvallis, Oregon. In La Grande there is the little-known church, Boyd Memorial Baptist Church, now known as Amazing Grace Fellowship. Constructed in 1920, Amazing Grace Fellowship represents one of the oldest African American Churches in Oregon.

Visit the Project Website

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The data collection phase relies on online data submission and thanks to the hard work of SHPO staff, a project website has been created at http://makeoregonhistory.org. The website is designed to provide the user with more information about the project and to allow the general public to submit information online.

We Need Your Help! If you know of any places like this, please share your information! The information will be added to the collection of the Oregon Black Pioneers and the Oregon Historic Sites Database. Provide as much information as you can, but it is okay to leave blanks if you do not know the particular information requested.

Need More Information? If you have any questions about the survey project you may email Kimberly Moreland, Oregon Black Pioneers, Project Manager at historic_places@qwestoffice.net or Kuri Gill, Oregon Heritage, Grants and Outreach Coordinator at Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov.  For more information about the Oregon Black Pioneers please visit www.oregonblackpioneers.org. Additional information about the Oregon Heritage can be found at www.oregonheritage.org.

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Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation