Dorena Historical Society

Back to School at Dorena 100 Years Ago

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This photo of Dorena High School and the text that accompanies it are from the files of the Cottage Grove Historical Society. The High School at Dorena closed in 1936 and local students have attended Cottage Grove High School ever since.


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Random Fun Stuff: Girls Basketball Edition

Dorena High School Girls Basketball Team  in the early 1930’s Girls Basketball flourished in small rural schools from the early part of the 20th century until the mid 1930’s. The sport was deemed unladylike and too rough for girls in the late 30’s and virtually disappeared from High Schools until the 1970’s. Leta Mosby is holding the ball in the photograph.  She grew up shooting a rubber ball through an oatmeal canister fastened to the kitchen door.  Leta kept her love of Basketball throughout her long life.  The only time she ever flew in an airplane was to see the Portland Trail Blazers play in the 1977 NBA Finals in Philadelphia. This information and photo are taken from an article in the Oregonian by Rachel Bachman.

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Dorena School History

The original Dorena School District was formed in 1891.  In 1896  James Kirk and his wife Sarah sold the District the land for the school.  It is not clear exactly when the school was built, but one early student remembered the one-room schoolhouse being used before 1900.  This building later became the woodshed when the new classrooms were built. The first year for which there are records was the 1903-04 school year.  There were 36 children in grades 1 through 7, and only one teacher for all of them.  School was in session for just 14 weeks a year. By 1906 the session lasted 36 weeks. In 1907 two more teachers were hired because new classrooms had been constructed.  By this time there were 51 children enrolled.

dorena school1911

Dorena School 1911

In 1914 a separate addition was added for the High School students.  In 1936 the High School had its last graduating class.  From then on High School students were bussed to Cottage Grove, as they are today.  1936 was a year of many changes as that is when the Star School closed, sending its students to Dorena.


Dorena School


Dorena School 1914


Dorena High School


Dorena School 1930s

The old Dorena School was closed in 1946 to make way for the new reservoir.  A new school was built up the road that still serves as Dorena School today.

Dorena School new

Dorena School

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