Year after year the kids filed in. Smiling faces, eager learners, tears, scraped knees, victories and defeats on the four square courts. From 1949 through 1974 C.E. Mason Elementary was home to neighborhood kids, a solid foundation for future Beavertonians.
Students at C.E. Mason saw lots of change around them, both nationally as events of the middle of the last century marched, lurched, and scurried this way and that, and closer to home with additions to their campus that included covered walkways and a couple of different colored paint jobs.
Looking back at photos of students from across the years is to see in youth what the country was like through the cold war and into the turbulent 70s. In school pictures, the collars widen, hair lengthens on both boys and girls, and formality gives way to a more colorful world.
By 1973, however, enrollment at C.E. Mason had dropped below 400 students, and in June of 1974 it closed its doors as an elementary school.
That’s not to say that C.E. Mason ceased to exist. In the fall of 1974 the building welcomed students from Five Oaks Intermediate School who stayed for two years as their new campus was being built. It was a new life for an old building, a renewal of sorts that would help to define our campus for the rest of the decade.
On September 4th, 285 students from Five Oaks moved onto campus determined to make it their own. They filled classrooms with music played on record players and doughnuts frying in electric skillets in culinary arts. The Quonset Hut became home to the basketball team, gymnasts, and wrestlers, and outside administrators bundled up to supervise in the rain. (That last one has been constant since Principal Esther Peer in 1949 and on up to today. I’ll be heading out for lunch duty in the rain soon).
Five Oaks students had electives like woodcraft and tie-dying, and students from 1974-1976 remember wearing the brightly colored hand made t-shirts in the hallways.
The Bicentennial year saw students doing pull ups on outdoor metal bars, sampling soup in the courtyard, and studying Spanish while wearing the groovy designs our kids dress up in on 70s day during Spirit Week.
All in all, Five Oaks made C.E. Mason their own for the two years they were here, and the photos from the time suggest it was fabulous! When they moved back to their home campus, I have to imagine that a few missed the place they spent 1974-1976.
Greenway Elementary School followed Five Oaks, filling C.E. Mason until their school was completed in 1980. In these “in between” years our campus was, as Timberland Middle School will be for ACMA next year, a haven for students in need of a place to learn.