Seeking African American Historical Sites


oregonblackpioneers state historic preservation
Preserving Oregon’s African American Places: Download the flyer for your organization











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 a 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 Heritage Maxville 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.  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. 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.

One of the recent entries into the Portland Historic Places is the Otto and Verdell Rutherford home. A significant portion of the Rutherford family legacy is also held at PSU in Special Collections.

If you have any questions about the survey project you may email Moreland or Kuri Gill, Oregon Heritage, Grants and Outreach Coordinator at