In honor of Historic Preservation Month, the Oregon Black Pioneers, in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office, announces a property survey project entitled “Preserving Oregon’s African American Historic Places”. Working with community partners and a dedicated community volunteers we endeavor to protect and preserve Oregon’s African American historic sites and places from the time period of 1844 to 1984.

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. An early settlement era, gothic revival style home belonged to Black pioneers Hannah and Eliza Gorman, and is still standing in Corvallis. Hannah and her six years old daughter, Eliza came across the
Oregon Trail in 1844 with the John Thorp family. 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.

Preserving Oregon African American Historic Places is a crowd-sourcing survey project that allows the general public to contribute information online that pertains to existing structures with any African American association in their histories and cemeteries with African American burials. 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. Our ultimate goal is to create a multiple property document that identifies sites for nomination to the national register of historic places.

Please share your information! 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 OK to leave blanks if you do not know the particular information requested. Go to to submit online.

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 State Historic Preservation Office can be found at .