Friday, June 6, 2014

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?

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

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 left 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
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 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 or Kuri Gill, Oregon Heritage, Grants and Outreach Coordinator at  For more information about the Oregon Black Pioneers please visit Additional information about the Oregon Heritage can be found at

Monday, March 17, 2014



Oregon Black Pioneers will open its’ third exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society Museum in Portland on February 2, 2015 called: A Community on the Move.   This exhibit engages visitors of all ages and backgrounds with the courage and perseverance of Portland’s black residents from 1940 to the onset of urban renewal in the mid-1950s.  Key messages trace the impact to Portland’s early community with the WWII shipyards, migration of southern black families to Portland, the Vanport flood and the beginning of urban renewal.   

An Exhibit Community Advisory Committee made up of Portland community members, subject matter experts, and members of the Oregon Black Pioneer board started work last fall to do planning for this exhibit and for a variety of public programming events in support of it.   Plans for community dialogues, educational opportunities for youth and public events are being developed for a variety of locations in the Portland area. 

This exhibit will be funded thanks to generous grants, sponsorships and individual donations.   If you are willing to make a donation toward this event, please see our Donation Section on this website and specify the amount you would like to designate to this exhibit. 

We have a number of grant requests pending and have already received grant approvals from The Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities and the Rose E. Tucker Foundation.