Today’s African-American community in Portland dates back to…


In the early year’s of this century, the Golden West Hotel offered blacks the best, and only, hostelry in Oregon. Connected with the hotel is a well appointed barber shop owned by Waldo Bogle; the finest ice cream and candy shop west of Chicago, serving its patrons all kinds of delicacies and soft drinks under the constant supervision of A.G. Green, the proprietor; a well appointed restaurant serving all kinds of dishes. Wo Gong, manager; a well furnished club room with Turkish baths and gymnasium for the Golden West Athletic league. Under the management of Geo. P. Moore; all provide for the amusement and satisfaction of the guest.

Portland's historic Union Station

Today’s African-American community in Portland dates back to the beginnings of the transcontinental railroad. Many black workers made Portland their home in order to have access to Union Station and jobs on the railroad…

Golden West Hotel
717 NW Everett N.W. Broadway & Everett
Until Oregon’s public accommodations law was passed in 1953, this was the only hotel in Portland catering to African Americans. Built in 1906 for railroad men away from home, it soon became a social center, especially on Sunday afternoons. With the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church just across the street, the Golden West Hotel hotel drew church goers to its restaurant, billiards room, ice cream parlor and candy shop. There was a thriving saloon, too (though perhaps not after church!). The barber shop was operated from 1913 to 1930 by Waldo Bogle, grandfather of former television news anchor and Portland City Commissioner Dick Bogle. Closed during the Depression, the hotel now serves the homeless mentally ill. Interpretive historical displays are on either side of the entrance.


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2 Responses to Today’s African-American community in Portland dates back to…

  1. Danny Bell says:

    Your task is noble. However having only your side of the story I hestitate to give full endorsement. I am a 58 year-old Portland African-American resident and our family dates back to the1939 as residents on my fathers side in Portland. The lens you wish to interpret our collective history from what I can tell is that of the black Bourgoise. The problem is that as gate keepers we often show distain for our bretheren who did not climb that mountain. My position is similar th Micheal Dysons and Joy DeGruy Leary’s. That is hundreds of years of systematic oppression and calculated violence both physical and mental takes its toll on a society. Too often we internally lift one self ( the black birgiose aka Bill Cosby sydriome) up at some elses expense or play black the race card as a victim. Albeit, we are not a community of heroes. We are not collective monolith either. To many times the ethnic centric intellectuals in our mist, romatictize our accomplishments and leave out our internal turmoil. I would hope you take these comments into consideration as you move forward with your project.
    By the way I have been a political activist on the national, regional and local level since 1968. And I publish a periodical called the beloved Community Journal.
    Dan Bell,

  2. willbe1960 says:

    Danny Bell =
    You’ve made some firm statement which I will consider…
    will b.

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