[Heritage] Crowd-sourced survey seeks African American historic places

INFO Heritage * OPRD Heritage.Info at oregon.gov
Mon Jul 28 11:20:56 PDT 2014

A crowd-sourced project to identify Oregon's African American historic sites and places has uncovered locations in Pendleton, Hayesville, Salem, Westport, 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.

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.

The discoveries of black pioneer burials in the historic Hayesville, Salem Pioneer, Westport, and Lone Fir cemeteries are just a few of the data submissions we already received.  Additional data has been submitted on two Pendleton structures: one is related to the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (the "Triple Nickles") and the other with George Fletcher, the Pendleton Round Up rodeo champion.  Other recent documentation includes a 114-year-old wooden structure which served as the residence of suffrage and civic leader Kathryn Gray. Today, the structure is commonly referred to as the Burger Barn, a former family-owned restaurant associated with the infamous "Possum Incident" in Portland.

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 28. 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.

If you have any questions about the survey project you may email Moreland at historic_places at qwestoffice.net or Kuri Gill, Oregon Heritage, Grants and Outreach Coordinator at Kuri.Gill at oregon.gov.

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