For Women’s History Month, we want to honor Louisa Flowers. You may recognize the apartment building at NE Holladay and Grand, but do you know much about the building’s namesake? Louisa Flowers was a well-respected African American civic leader and pioneer who settled in Portland in the late 1800s despite the discriminatory and racist laws that discouraged Black people from living here. Louisa was still able to build a successful life for her family and her community, despite these laws.
Louisa’s family was one of the very first Black families to own property on Portland’s eastside. They operated a farm near Mt Scott and built homes in Lower Albina, near what is now The Louisa Flowers, an affordable housing building. The farm where the Flowers family raised horses and grew raspberries became a gathering spot for Black community life in Portland. Because of how much of an inspiration Louisa Flowers and her family were to the Portland community, The Louisa Flowers building aims to carry on that legacy.
Louisa was also heavily involved in civic work. She was a founding member of the Williams YWCA (now known as the Billy Webb Elks Lodge), was deeply engaged with the NAACP and was also a deaconess of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Additionally, Louisa was a member of the Old Rose Club, which raised college scholarship money for young women. Click here to learn more about Louisa Flowers and her legacy.
Lastly, we also would like to take this opportunity to uplift women-owned and led businesses and organizations around Lloyd: