Occupy Lake No-Negro?

Friday the Flowbees celebrated the end of spring kickball season, at a beautiful Lake Oswego home, belonging to one of the newest members of our hive. New Bee to us, he’s a well-known kickball superstar, bopping around the Recesstime Sports League (at least as long as I have) since the early 2000’s.

“Ah yes, good to be back in Lake No-Negro,” said one of my kickball buddies, with a sigh.

Most of us Portland kids know the term. I wasn’t exactly surprised someone said it, but I heard something in his voice, which made the statement…seem electrified.

I asked my friend, why would you say it like that?

He explained. Until settlers made their way west along the Oregon Trail, it was the Clackamas Indians who occupied the lake. Eventually, Lake Oswego became the affluent town of mostly-white-people that it is today. They used to call it Lake No-Negro, because for a long time, non-white-people weren’t allowed there anymore, whatsoever.

Then again, Oregon was one of the last states to de-segregate, so it’s hardly a revelation. But we are past that!

Aren’t we?

Maybe not. Private landowners (Lake Oswego City Council) have unanimously decided to restrict access to the lake, barring non-residents from entry to their lovely little body of water.

Is that right? Is it even legal? Maybe we can find out…

Wouldn’t it be neat to get a bunch people to Occupy Lake Oswego?! Come on kids, then, after a marathon of partying on boats at the lake all summer, you’ll have something truly worth writing home about.

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One thought on “Occupy Lake No-Negro?

  1. Oswego Lake is not off limits to non-residents, it is off limits to the general public. The Lake Corp is made up of shareholders. Shareholders are the landowners who own lake frontage. The lake is actually classified as a reservoir since it’s current size was created by a concrete dam in 1921. There has been a debate going on for decades about whether the Lake Corp can prohibit the public from using the lake. Recently, the Lake Oswego City Council voted to keep the status quo although there is now a lawsuit moving forward to challenge the ban on public use. Could get interesting.

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