Dorena Historical Society

More Cute Row River Valley Kids of Yore


Another cute kid photo. This one comes from Kevin Violette. He says “These are all Violette family children. This is a family photo of my dad’s siblings and cousins taken in the 1930s in the Culp Creek area.. From left to right — Donald, Helen, Nancy, Marilyn, Frances, Jim, Carol and Vera Lee Violette. Jim (my father) and Frances were the children of Robert and Jean Champie Violette; Donald and Helen the children of Glenn and Florene Violette…the others are Violettes, but I’m not sure whose!”


Adorable little Ava Lee Bales of Rat Creek Rd in 1942


17352025_1653576148279826_1358767128826531403_n  Some kids from the town of Wildwood with their Moms in 1911. Yes, the town of Wildwood was near Wildwood Falls on Lower Brice Creek Rd.



The kids of Dorena School in 1917. Love the spiffy knickerbockers and suspenders on the boy in the front row!

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May Day 1948

dorena school may day 1948

The May Queen and her Court at Dorena School on the first day of May in 1948. The new Dorena School was just two years old when this photograph was taken.

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Back to School at Dorena, circa 1961



school 1962 2 jpeg

school 1962Here are some school photos from 1961.  Some of these cute little kiddos are still running around our neighborhood!

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Opal Whiteley and Old Dorena School

The Cottage Grove Historical Society has a couple of programs in their monthly line-up for 2014 that are of particular interest to historians of the Row River Valley.

The January 18th program will be about Opal Whiteley and the March 15th program will cover the Old Dorena School.  The monthly programs are always on the 3rd Saturday of each month in the Cottage Grove Community Center  at 700 E Gibbs Avenue. The events start at 10:00 a.m. and last for about an hour. There is plenty of parking and many folks who are knowledgeable about local history and fun to chat with!

Opal is 4th from the left on the porch of the Old Dorena School.

Here is a link to the Cottage Grove Historical Society

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An Early Photo

Photo courtesy of the Cottage Grove Historical Society

This is one of the earliest Dorena area photos I have encountered.  It dates from the 1890′s. It shows the first teacher at Dorena School, Mrs. Emma Damewood, and some of her students. Dorena was not even named until 1899.  Before then it was referred to as Chrisman after the family that donated the land for the school.

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Back to School at Dorena

Back in the classroom at Dorena School over 100 years ago!

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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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