Bethel School District Eugene OR

A Brief History of the Origins of Willamette High School

On April 9, 1948, the people of Bethel, Clear Lake, Danebo and Irving voted to consolidate and build a junior-senior high school. Malabon became part of our school district on August 27, 1948. Bond elections were held and approved on May 11, 1948, and October 20, 1948. The money from these bond sales was to be used to purchase land and to build and equip a junior-senior high school for 400 pupils. On May 17, 1948, the school board, composed of George M. Petersen, chairman; Harold B; Jensen, and Marvin Hendrickson, purchased a 50-acre tract as the site for the unnamed high school which they hoped to have operating in the fall of 1949. The contract for constructing the new school was awarded to Waale-Camplan Company on March 2, 1949.

The colors maroon and white were chosen by pupils of School District 52 on April 16, 1949. The students also selected the following as possible names for the new school: General George Patton, McLoughlin, Bidmac and Willamette. By student request the winning name had to receive at least 66 per cent of the total vote. On April 22, 1949, three hundred eleven ballots were cast by School District 52 students who were attending eight different schools. The name selected, is the present name – “Willamette.”

The new Willamette High School was partially completed on September 19, 1949. The dreams and wishes of many came to reality when the pupils started to school on September 26, 1949. Through the combined efforts and co-operation of pupils and patrons, the impossible became possible and a school was constructed for the present and future young people of School District 52.

from the 1949-1950 Annual of Willamette High School

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