Category Archives: History

Tree History in King and Sabin Neighborhoods (free walk & talk, April 16)



Tree History in King and Sabin Neighborhoods (FREE)

  • Sat, Apr 16, 1:00 PM
  • Whole Foods Market (upstairs)
  • 3535 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR
  • Join Portland’s historian Dave Hedberg and the King-Sabin Tree team as we explore how history shaped the neighborhood’s urban forest.

    12:30pm–1:00pm Registration and sign-in
    1:00pm–2:00pm Presentation by Dave Hedberg, Environmental Historian
    2:00pm–3:00pm Interpretive walk and talk through the neighborhoods


  • We will be out rain or shine!! We recommend long pants and long sleeves, sturdy shoes and a rain/sun hat and bring a backpack, rain gear and water bottle.



Celebrating Black History


You are cordially invited to join a cultural celebration, marking the culmination of Black History Month

February 28th, 3 pm

Hughes Memorial UMC

111 NE Failing

-old-fashioned soul food after the program-

Program features old-time gospel hymns, singing, praise dancers, praise teams, Black preachers, fun, and celebration

This year’s theme: Under the Right Cover

It features hats and garb from ‘back in the day…’ Guests are welcome to participate and wear a hat.

Update on CURB PDX’s campaign to help restore 3962 NE MLK.


Burger Barn restoration committee leader Teressa Raiford sent out this release recently:


CURB PDX Gray Building Rehabilitation
3962 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.
Portland, Oregon USA
October 29th 2014

In early, 2011 I met Cathy Galbraith, Director of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation; I was attending their Black History Month event at the Foundation’s Architectural Heritage Center. At this initial meeting I was asked to make a request to my family, that the property at 3962 NE Martin Luther King be given a chance to be preserved, given its importance in Portland’s historic African American community. Galbraith was concerned that multiple demolitions over the past decades had left little memory of the African American character and history of North and Northeast Portland. Cathy’s charge had me question the inclusion of Black homeowners and business owners’ direct involvement in the trend of urban renewal that had long taken place in North and Northeast Portland. Clearly, there was little or no involvement with people of color regarding residential and community business development. While filtering up has physically rejuvenated the community, it had not included many African American and other long term property holders. The displacement of renters was casebook gentrification, because of historic long term disinvestment and exclusion; urban renewal is known to negatively impact the Black middle class, as blighted communities revitalize and transform without these stakeholders’ participation.

I also researched local archives and links provided by the Urban Studies department at Portland State University via Felicia Williams. These collections included extensive correspondence, letters, published articles and oral histories from long-time residents in the area. Most of these stories included systems and legislative actions that had prohibited foundational growth for African Americans and other minorities in the region.

Opportunities for development being presented to people and businesses moving into the Portland region does not show any specific indication that a serious effort was also being made to Black Portlanders. Who would African American property owners turn to for information if they wished to develop their own properties? Why does it seem that a specific demographic has not been included in the planning or resource allocation that would make it a feasible opportunity for everyone? In the years since my conversation with Cathy Galbraith and others, I’ve researched and attended a number of equity conversations around gentrification, and there is a renewed spark of interest in community outreach and education.

Fast forward to 2014… and the previously occupied space at 3962 MLK has recently closed its doors after decades of being run by local African Americans, nationally known for its soul food including my Grandparents’ restaurant “The Burger Barn”. The property owner, Andre Raiford was ready to redevelop the land in order to build a retail center or another development that would not include the Burger Barn building. I approached Andre, along with local Historian and Educator Dr. Tanya March, Ph.D., within days before the scheduled demolition. Afterwards we called an emergency meeting together with Cathy Galbraith and Kimberly Moreland at the AHC. Prior to the meeting I drafted a business vision (Soul Food Lots PDX) and a proposal for support. I asked for letters and statements from AHC and Kim’s organization (Oregon Black Pioneers) stating their support for rehab and continued use of the historic Burger Barn building.

We have maintained hope that this written support could help us obtain the partnerships and funding necessary to develop a business and use for the preservation-focused Burger Barn building. Since this partnership, we have received letters of support from The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission, Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center, Oregon Black Pioneers, and King Neighborhood Association; additional support is coming from Livermore Architects and Engineering, Swinerton Construction, and an application has been submitted to Restore Oregon for inclusion in its “Most Endangered” listing.

Please share your thoughts, resources and intentions as they pertain to changing the trend of economic inequality, gentrification and racial discrimination in policy and legislation. I believe that this project is a step forward and I hope that this letter reaches people with a deep consciousness and a will to make a difference.

Teressa Raiford

“The Cherokee Word for Water” at North Portland library, 11/11

November 11th JHS Multicultural
Film Festival

“The Cherokee Word for Water” and our guest facilitator, David Crawford, November 11th, will be at the North Portland Library, as part of the Jefferson High Multicultural Film Festival.


Mr Crawford engaged in life-changing conversations with Chief Wilma Mankiller (the protagonist of our movie) that caused him to apply and become a Cherokee Nation citizen in 1995.  He was honoring his deep Cherokee family’s historical experiences of life in Cherokee country – Coosa River (northeastern Alabama), Cherokee Nation West 1822 (northern Arkansas), the “Trail of Tears” 1837-38 to Indian Territory 1874 (Nowata, Oklahoma), and ultimately the small allotment of land issued (circa 1914) by the United States as it took remaining Cherokee land.

David Crawford, now an Oregon citizen, is founding member of Mt. Hood Cherokees (MHC), a Portland, OR official satellite community of the Cherokee Nation. He has served on MHC’s Council since it’s inception in 2010 and is currently Meeting Facilitator.  David Crawford brings with him JoEllen Marshall, also MHC Council member.

This Multnomah County Library sponsored program presents “The Cherokee Word for Water” for Defy the Inevitable: Harvest Beyond the Brim, our 2014/15 JHS Multicultural Film Festival Program, at no cost to you. it is family friendly and FREE. It will be great to … see YOU at the movie November 11, 6 PM at North Portland Neighborhood Library (512 N. Killingsworth Street, Portland!

Letter in support of preserving the building at 3962 NE MLK.

July 16, 2014

To: Andre Raiford, Owner of 3962 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard

Mr. Raiford,

The members of the King Neighborhood Association endorse the community undertaking to preserve the building located at 3962 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.  The history of the building itself, as well as its status as a symbol of African-American experience in the Albina area, make it well worth preserving. Preliminary plans to include 3962 NE MLK in an African-American historic resource survey reflect the importance of this site to the community’s memory, as well as its present-day experience. Continue reading