Saving African American Places Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kim S. Moreland, AICP, Project Manager,
Oregon Black Pioneers
Office: (503) 540-4063
Kuri Gill, Grants and Community Outreach Coordinator, Oregon Heritage
Office: (503) 986-0685
CROWD-SOURCED HISTORY SURVEY
SEEKS AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY SITES
A crowd-sourced project to identify Oregon’s African American historic sites and places has uncovered additional locations in Eugene, La Grande, Corvallis, Portland and other communities. Project leaders are asking the public to continue submitting information about potential sites.
“These places can be buildings anywhere in Oregon where African Americans worked, sites where important events happened, or objects created, installed, or inspired by African Americans,” said project manager Kim S. Moreland.
The Oregon Black Pioneers, in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office, launched the property survey project “Preserving Oregon’s African American Historic Places” in May. Working with community partners and volunteers, the organizations want to protect and preserve Oregon’s African American historic sites and places from 1844 to 1984.
Committee partner Gwendolyn Trice, founder of Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center, commented that “rural counties have significant undocumented structures, places and cemeteries. Conversations are taking place in Eastern Oregon that are providing data that translates rich African American community architectures into historic record.”
Preserving Oregon African American Historic Places project is a crowd-sourced project that encourages the public to contribute information online that pertains to existing structures with any African American association in their histories and cemeteries with African American burials. “It is important to note that the data submission can include properties associated with the post-war period from the 1950 to the early 80s,” said SHPO outreach and grants coordinator Kuri Gill.
Recent documentations include the historic St. Mark CME Church in Eugene and the 1915 Portland home of retired buffalo soldier Sgt. Alfred J. Franklin and his wife, Cora. Additional data was received on the office building located at 2337 N. William Ave., which was formerly occupied by Dr. John Marshall, one of Portland’s early Black medical doctors. The building later served as the original office of The Skanner News, one of Portland’s most long-lived Black newspapers.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to Dec. 31. You may submit your information online at www.makeoregonhistory.com or at www.oregonblackpioneers.org. Provide as much information as you can, but it is OK to leave blanks if you do not know the particular information requested. Go to www.makeoregonhistory.com to submit online. The information will be added to the collections of the Oregon Black Pioneers and the Oregon Historic Sites Database.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a multiple property document that identifies sites for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places,” said Moreland.