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 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
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.