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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5 Thoughts to “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

    1. Loretta Vandervort

      Thank you for your comments. We appreciate getting feed back from our Alumni regarding our Log…Hope that you will come to another picnic. This next one will be
      our 5th year celebration of having Alumni Picnics. Please try and come. Make sure
      you let us know that you are there. I would like to meet you.
      Loretta Vandervort,
      Chairperson of the Alumni Picnic and Alumni Board Member.

  2. phyllis gavel

    the first beaver is the best one

  3. Loretta Vandervort

    Thank you Phyliss for your comment. I am the person who wrote that article. I always love
    to have feed back regarding our on article.
    Thank you for taking time to contact us.

  4. Mary Ann Pizzino Smith

    I was in the first 8th grade 1949. They were still working in the school while classes were held. To start in Sept. we went behalf days. 7th went in mornings and 8th and 9th went afternoons. Can get the bus around noon and got home about 5:00. Remember having to move a tarp hung either side if the lobby to get from one end of the hall to the other. Was an exciting time.

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