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Documenting Historic Local Places with African American Connections



In honor of Historic Preservation Month, the Oregon Black Pioneers, in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), 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, Oregon. 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 Church 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 SHPO can be found at

Author Stryker brings “BIRD WORLD” to Newport High School

Noah Strycker and friends

Noah Strycker and friends

Approaching bird behavior from new and surprising angles, author Noah Strycker explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, self-image in magpies, life-long loves of albatrosses, particle physics of starling flocks, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and how we can relate. With humor and wit, and drawing from cutting-edge science and anecdotes from the
field, Strycker provides insights about our close connections with birds in his latest book, The Thing with Feathers.  

Strycker will be speaking at Newport High School, in the Boone Library, on Thursday, May 15th, from 7 to 8:30 pm.  Admission is free, the public is invited, and copies of Strycker’s book will be given away as door prizes.  The event is sponsored by Lincoln Co. School District’s SEAL (Students Engaging in Authentic Literacy) grant and student projects will also be on display during the event.  

Strycker, 28, is Associate Editor of Birding magazine, and is a
well-known writer and “bird man.” His photography and articles have appeared in all major bird magazines as well as in books and other media; he writes regularly for the American Birding Association’s blog and has been regularly featured on Oregon radio programs. Strycker has studied birds on six continents with field seasons in Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Australia, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the Farallon Islands, and his “life list” is approaching 2,500 species.

He also works as a naturalist guide on expedition cruises to Antarctica and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, literally spreading the inspiration of birds from pole to pole. His first book, Among Penguins, was published in 2011 (Oregon State University Press). Strycker’s latest project, The Thing with
Feathers, a book about the fascinating behaviors of birds, was released in March 2014 (Riverhead Books). Strycker is also a competitive tennis player, has run five marathons, and, in 2011, hiked the entire 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. He is based in western Oregon, where his backyard has hosted more than 100 species of birds.


Environmental Film Series Starts Tonight


Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District’s 5th Annual





6:00 – 8:00 PM



April 29th: Trashed (98 minutes)

In the new docu-feature TRASHED, a Blenheim Films production, which was selected to receive a Special Screening at the Cannes Film Festival, Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. This is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes Irons (and us) from skepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope. Josh Lambert Water Quality Specialist from Lincoln SWCD will provide brief discussion about Lincoln County waste production, how much is produced, recycled and where it all goes!


May 13th: Last Call at the Oasis (105 minutes)

Firmly establishing the urgency of the global water crisis as the central issue facing our world this century, this documentary illuminates the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system. Featuring respected water experts and social entrepreneurs, the film posits that we can manage this problem if we are willing to act now. Guest speaker Paris Edwards from OSU will be able to put the evening’s documentary into perspective by sharing expertise in local and global water issues and conflict resolution regarding the most precious resource on earth.


May 27th: The End of the Line (85 minutes)

In the new film former journalist Charles Clover confronts the politicians who have failed to stop overfishing and the celebrity restaurateurs who continue to serve endangered species, e.g. blue fin tuna. The film, selected for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival! Guest speaker Jeff Feldner has been a local commercial fisherman since 1972, he has also worked with OSU SeaGrant and OPAC to promote sustainable West Coast fisheries while integrating this potential with science.


June 11th: Dirt the Movie (86 minutes) & RAIN BARRELL/COMPOSTER RAFFLE!

Inspired by William Bryant Logan’s acclaimed book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, Dirt! The Movie takes a humorous and substantial look into the history and current state of the living organic matter that we come from and will later return to. Dirt! The Movie will make you want to get dirty!



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