Peninsula Odd Fellows Lodge, 4834 N. Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203.
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Serving North Portland since 1895
A Headstone for Reuben Crawford
Please join us in honoring an amazing man by purchasing a headstone for his grave, which has gone unmarked for 102 years.
Reuben Crawford was born into slavery in St. Louis Missouri, on June 12, 1828. He was hired out by his owner to a shipyard while he was still a child. Crawford began shifting for himself by the age of 13. In 1862 he purchased his freedom and used the skills he learned in slavery to build ships for the Union Navy.
In 1870, Reuben Crawford brought his family to Oregon, where he transformed the lives of the fledgling African American Community in Portland. In 1884, Crawford was a founding member of the New Northwest Lodge #2554, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, the first African American lodge in the state of Oregon.
In 1897 Reuben Crawford was one of two founding deacons of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.
As a community leader, Crawford took on the State's Immigration Commission, demanding that it provide Blacks the same assistance that was offered to other settlers moving to Oregon.
Professionally, Crawford achieved celebrity status for his skills in shipbuilding. He was named the Dean of Ship Caulkers and many of Oregon's early transportation companies insisted that Crawford supervise the building of their ships. He Christened two ships, the Wakena, and the Beaver.
Despite the many accomplishments of Reuben Crawford and the pivotal role he played in Oregon's history, his grave and his story have become forgotten. Peninsula Odd Fellows lodge in Portland, Oregon wants to change that, by providing a headstone for his grave and installing it in a ceremony to be held at Lone Fir Cemetery on June 12, 2020, that will reintroduce his life and legacy to the community.
Or make checks payable to Peninsula lodge.
Peninsula Lodge #128
4834 N Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97203