New Book: Oregon’s African American Loggers


“But Not Jim Crow: Family Memories of African American Loggers in Maxille, Oregon,” by Pearl Alice Marsh, PhD, is an original work about African American loggers and their families, who between 1923 -1945 came to a railroad logging town in Oregon named Maxville to escape the harrowing reality of southern racism and for better wages. Bowman-Hicks Lumber Company of Kansas City, MO owned the town. The book includes original historical research, a logger’s memoir, and the memories of 15 first generation descendants.

But Not Jim Crow: Family Memories of African American Loggers in Maxille, Oregon answers these questions and much more. This book will make great reading for history lovers, students, and anyone interested in Oregon’s past.

Oregon was known as a “white territory,” with Black Exclusion Laws dating back to the 1840s. So why would African Americans leave the Deep South to venture into the state? How did the find their way to a remote railroad logging town in Wallowa County? What was life like in the timber industry and small towns for these intrepid African American families?

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