Against all odds, a small group of families emerged to form the foundation of a Black community.
The Ferry Street Settlement
A small number of families settled north of the Willamette River near where Alton Baker Park is today. The segregated community had no running water and no electricity. The land flooded seasonally, which forced families to evacuate and rebuild. Despite the challenges, they formed a close-knit community.
Founding members of the Ferry Street Chapel, 1948. It later became St. Mark Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in West Eugene.
Left to right, back row: Ms. Bertha Frenchwell, Ms. Mary Williams, unknown, and Ms. Mattie Reynolds
Left to right, front row: Ms. Annie Mims, Ms. Bonnie Rucker, unknown, and Ms. Pearlie Mae Joiner
Image courtesy of Greg Black
Only one white family reportedly lived in the Ferry Street Settlement in 1949. The pump supplied water from the Willamette River.