The First Beaver

The Man Behind the First Beaver Artwork

When Riverside High School opened in 1949, the school district was starting with a clean slate. School colors, along with a mascot, needed to be chosen. Finally after much thought, research, and contests among the students, faculty and staff, it was announced on December 20, 1949, that the “Beaver” would be the mascot for Riverside.

The first Beaver that was drawn appeared on the 1952 yearbook (photo credit – Nick Carrabine).Carrabine

The first Beaver was drawn by Charles “Chick” Dickinson. The cover on the first yearbook, which was published in 1952, contained a drawing of that Beaver and continued to be on the cover until 1965. Chick was a great artist and did a lot of doodling on paper, but he did not feel that he was really good at it. “It’s just doodling,” he said.

Chick and Warren Cleversy were the art editors of the new school newspaper, The Log. Their artwork can be seen on the covers of the first three editions of the newspaper. The masthead was drawn freehand along with other drawings during the 1949-50 school year.  How times have changed since   then, when the first three issues were done on a ditto machine using 8 ½ x 11 paper.

During the 1951-52 school year, Chick’s father passed away. Since Chick was the oldest of six children, he had to quit school to get a job and help support the family. He worked at the “fish house” in Grand River, his hometown. Later on Chick married and had four children: Darryl, Patrick, Stephen and Timothy, who live locally but did not attend Riverside schools. However, many of Chick’s grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews did.

Thank you, Chick, for your contribution to Riverside High School. LET’S GO BEAVERS!

Appearing in this newsletter is a poster of how the Beaver has evolved over the years. Which one belongs to your era and time at Riverside?

A Riverside Family

The first “Beaver” was drawn by Charles “Chick” Dickinson, seen here in this August 1998 photo.

He was one of six siblings Donald, Irving, Fred, Phillip, Laura and Jean

Family still connected to Riverside

Grandchildren who  have graduated from Riverside:  Rachael (Dickinson) Kline, 1998, Mark Dickinson 2007, Lydia Dickinson 2009 and many great nieces and nephews.

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2 thoughts on “The First Beaver

  1. Joe Kovacs

    Thank you for the Alumni News. My wife Addie (Congos) Kovacs (class of 1961) enjoyed the news.
    We attended the Alumni Picnick in 2015 and my 55th. Class Reunion.
    I enjoyed the Alumni Log News. It contains things I didn’t know.
    Thank you,

    Joe Kovacs class of 1960

  2. phyllis gavel

    the first beaver is the best one

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