Home » Oregon » Eugene

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Was there an ordinance?
Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Surely Not

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1910 9559 6
1920 10593 9
1930 18901 5
1940 20838 7
1950 35879 55
1960 179
1970 76346 600 103
1990 112669 16 2
2000 1729 4916 1281 6843 3003

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


“By 1923 Eugene would be described as one of the
‘thoroughly Ku Kluxed cities of Oregon.'” “Eugene’s
few dozen black families, whose men were
predomantly railroad employees and women domestic
servants, lived in small residential pockets near the
Ferry Street Bridge [now part of Eugene, but formerly a
separate town] and in West Eugene [a separate town].”

“She looked at me like I was stupid and said
something to the effect that sundown laws were on
the books (but ignored) until about 15 years ago, and
that it was a really big deal, and not a secret, and
anyone who said Eugene wasn’t sundown must not
have lived here very long…. I asked how she knew this
and she said ‘everybody knows it.'”
– posted to the web, 2003

“There was a recent serious controversy over
removal of a 47’ high concrete cross in a park atop
Skinner’s Butte, the high point of the city: the atheists
finally got it removed as a church/state violation over
the opposition of conservative Christians. Only
occasionally mentioned was the fact that the cross was
apparently a concrete version of the wooden cross
burned atop the Butte starting in the 1930s to warn
off non whites.”
-posted to the web, 2003