Finding Home at the Mims

Historic house of refuge still holds meaning—and home—for residents of Eugene.

From 1936 until the late 1960s, a guide called the “Green Book” was published to help Black travelers find safe homes and hotels to stay in as they journeyed across the country. Although it was never included in the book, the Mims House in Eugene was one of those safe harbors. Purchased in 1948 by C.B. and Annie Mims, the house hosted dozens of African American travelers, including college athletes and touring musicians like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald, who were not welcome in the towns and hotels where they performed.



Art and Music, Belonging, Community, History, Justice, Oregon, Video, Home, This Land


4 comments have been posted.

Thank you for the story about the Mims House at 330 High St. I was there a number of times as Willie Mims was a friend. I have a number of stories about our Eugene history of the 1960s and 70s involving African-American friends before and during the time I owned KZEL-FM as a free-form community oriented and politically active radio station and my involvement with Senator Wayne Morse. Jay West

Jay West | June 2020 | Washington

I discovered this treasure, while visiting Eugene, on a self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood. The energy of this place stopped me dead in my tracks. It made sense, when I found out the story later, that so much sharing & caring was in this home. A beautiful experience, & an important lesson for all of us in this day & age. I'll be checking out your film- thanks so much for doing it, because I haven't found much detailed info otherwise. I got a good vibe about the neighborhood, too. Don't know if the two are related. Thank you :) Robbie

Robbie Sesso | November 2018 | Wilsonville OR

Thank you to this. I heard excerpts on OPB and so I googled this topic. I am so very distraught that the KKK cross was allowed to stay up. I’m so sorry anyone had to see such an ugly thing. Wish you the best in your work. Excellent short movie, so informative. Shanon

Shanon Edwards | October 2017 |

This is beautifully done. It really fires on all cylinders: the shots and editing, the graphics, the music and most of all the story. All of these things come together in a though-provoking yet positive way, providing education not only about the house, its history and occupants but in reminding us that it wasn't that long ago that racism was legal, let alone prevalent. It ends with a statement of inclusiveness that really sets the tone for the way forward. It is so well done. Way to go!

Tom Madison | October 2017 | Eugene, Oregon