Golden West Hotel
When Black entrepreneur W. D. Allen launched the Golden West Hotel in 1906, Portland was booming. The completion of the transcontinental railroad, the opening of Union Station and the Lewis and Clark Centennial Fair triggered a flood of visitors and workers to the city’s bustling North End. The Golden West was designed to serve the Black railway porters, cooks, barbers and waiters recruited by the major railroads. It provided “all the conveniences of home” for Black workers denied accommodation in Portland’s white owned hotels, and was a center of African American social life until the hotel’s closure in 1931.
Patrons could get a haircut and a shave at Waldo Bogle’s Barbershop, sweets at A.G. Green’s ice cream parlor and candy shop, and relax in George Moore’s Golden West Athletic Club featuring a Turkish bath and gymnasium. In its heyday, the Golden West provided an overnight home for prominent black entertainers, athletes, and civic leaders such as Illinois Congressman Oscar DePriest and labor organizer A. Philip Randolph. Some even “retired” there, including Portland Advocate newspaper founder and famous Portland Hotel “hat check man,” E.D. Cannady.
- WORKING ON THE RAILROAD: BLACK BUSINESS IN THE NORTH END
- Golden West Project
- History of African-Americans in Portland & Oregon: A Selected Bibliography (HTML) | (PDF)