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Rainier sch. - History

Rainier sch. - History

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Rainier sch.


(Sch.: t. 340, l. 119'9"; b. 26'; dr. 8'6"; s. 5 k., cpl. 41; a.
2 4", 2 mg.)

The first Rainier, formerly Patrol and Angel, was built in 1917 at Portland, Oreg.; purchased by the Navy 7 June 1917 and commissioned 30 July 1917 at Mare Island, Calif., Lt. Jame~auranee Kauffman in command.

Throughout World War I, Rainier was attached to Division 2, Pacific Fleet, and was assigned to the Mexican Patrol. She operated in- waters off southern and Baja California until 1.NIareh 1913.

Rainier decommissioned 28 May 1919 at Mare Island Navy Yard; was struck from the Navy list 8 September 1919, and was sold 5 August 1921 to E. W. Cullen, Alameda, Calif.

The Stories of Prescott

A small lumber mill was originally built here in 1883. The mill workers lived in what used to be known as "Danby Landing." The area became known as "Prescott" around 1907 when Edward L. Prescott built a large saw mill. The Astoria and Columbia Railroad built a train station here to better serve the Beaver Lumber Company operating in conjunction with the mill, which was located in the area now called Prescott Beach.

From the September 28, 1906 "Morning Astorian":

"What will be one of the most modern saw mills on the Columbia river is now being rapidly built at Danby Landing, three miles east of Rainier, by the Beaver Lumber company of which E.L. Prescott of the Prescott Machinery company of Portland, is president, and R.F. Barker, formerly manager of the Diamond Match company at Chico, Cal., and one of the best mill men on the Coast, is general manager. The railroad company is building a switch there and the station will be called Prescott. It is the intention to be under operation in about three months."

From the November 14, 1906 "Oregon Daily Journal":

"About 3 1/3 miles from Rainier, just between Rainier and Goble, a new station has sprung into existence, which promises in a short time to make a nice little town. With the recent advent of a big mill, the Beaver Lumber company, came 40 men as millhands. Many of these have since brought their families and are preparing to settle. The station has already received a name, being called Prescot."

From the February 22, 1907 "Morning Astorian":

"J.E. Quinn of the Beaver Lumber Company of Prescott, Oregon was in Astoria yesterday on business. He reports the big new mill almost completed and will be ready for business about April 1st, or as soon as the new hotel which the company is building is completed. This is one of the most modern and finely equipped plants on the Columbia River and managed by the people it is as we predict for it a splendid record. The plant is located three miles east of Rainer on the A. & C.R. R., which has established a station there. R.F. Barker formerly of the Diamond Watch Co., is the general manager."

From the "Aurora Observer", May 15, 1924:

"On Sunday last Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Miller and son Alvin drove to Prescott, Oregon, to visit their son Geo. W, and wife. George is general time keeper for the Beaver Lumber Company at Prescott. The Beaver Lumber Mills are located on the banks of the Columbia river. The company's business is quite large. They load lumber right off of their own docks on to sailing vessels, mostly for the East, New York and other like points. Large stacks or Lumber piles can be seen all around the plant, giving one to understand that this mill property is quite an asset to Oregon as it gives employment to many working people."

From the "Rainier Review", Christmas Edition, 1925:

"The little town of Prescott, three miles east of Rainier, was built up around the mill of the Beaver Lumber company. [The town] is unincorporated, but has a population of close to 200. There are 85 permanent homes in the town, the majority of which belong to the company.

The spot now called Prescott used to be known as Danby’s Landing. When the mill was built the name was changed to Prescott, probably because the mill uses a large quantity of what is known as Prescott machinery. The population of the town is a changing one, but it does not fluctuate to any considerable extent.

A well equipped two room school in maintained, with an attendance of about 50. Miss Opal Phelps and Miss Laura Strickler are the teachers. Sunday school services are conducted every Friday evening by one of the Rainier churches.

John Rupprath is in charge of the store maintained by the lumber company. He also handles the mail, although George Miller is postmaster officially. The company conducts a hotel, where 110 men are accommodated. Mrs. Dan Marshall and Mrs. Marion Bacon are in charge. Fred Bach conducts the pool hall.

The Beaver Lumber company last year had the third largest cut on the river, being exceeded only by the Inman-Poulson company and the Westport mill. In July of this year the mill was closed and repairs were made that have increased the capacity of the mill. At present, with a day and night shift, the cut averages between seven and eight million feet per month. The cut averaged about 175,000 a shift, with a day and night shift running continuously. This gives rise to a payroll of $40,000 per month, the two shifts giving employment to about 330 men.

The men employed here are rather equally divided between those who either make their homes or board in Prescott, and those who live elsewhere and drive to work there. The mill employs men from the entire territory around Rainier, from Goble, Beaver Homes and even from as far as Mayger, as well as from Rainier. The men drive to work each day and live at home.

In this operation the mill is using approximately 1500 horsepower, which is divided equally between steam and electricity. Recently the Puget Sound Power & Light company installed a special line to the mill direct from the plant at Kalama, Wash., in order to supply the needed power for the machines. Formerly this load was taken from the line that supplied Rainier.

The Beaver Lumber company cuts its own timber, which is logged and hauled in from the camp in the Nehalem Valley to Scappoose, from where the logs are rafted to the mill. In the Nehalem Valley a six side logging camp is maintained, and a logging road has been constructed that is the only road on this side of Linnton that enters the valley on the other side of the divide. This is done by means of a big tunnel back of Scappoose. This road also is a common carrier for a portion of its length.

With their own timber holdings and through their various connections, the Beaver Lumber company has timber enough for an indefinite run."

Thank you to The Columbia County Historian, Lyn Topinka, University of Oregon Libraries Eugene, OR and others who have researched and preserved the history of Prescott, Oregon. Thank you for allowing us to link to your sites.

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark spent the night of November 5, 1805, near today's Prescott Beach, Oregon. In Clark's notes in his first draft he places the camp three miles below the mouth of the Kalama River. On March 27, 1806, on their return upriver, Lewis and Clark pass by Prescott Beach and camp just upstream near today's community of Goble.

From the Columbia County Historical Society Volume I (1961).

Mrs. Minnie Fowler McCrae, daughter of Frances Fowler, who took 640 acres of land where Prescott now is located is authority for the early history of this area as follows:

Frances Fowler and his wife, Mary, came west by covered wagon in 1865 and took up government land. After filing on it and settling here with his family, the land became theirs in 1868 as a Donation Land Claim. They built their house on the southern end of the island. It later became filled in between the island the mainland on the Oregon side of the Columbia, so is no longer an island.

In 1883 a small lumber mill was built where the Graham dock is now, and houses were built for the mill workers. The village was named Danby. After several years the mill was discontinued, and the houses were empty, when Robert Graham and his family came here in 1900. At that time Balfour and Guthrie of Portland were the owners, having obtained it by foreclosure of a mortgage they held on the property. The Grahams bought it in 1901, 131 acres in all. Several of the old houses were moved together to make the first home of the Graham family, and others of the buildings were used by other families. Among these were the Ward, Furer and Ruby families.

The railroad was complete to Astoria in 1898, and then it was easier for the settlers here to visit other towns along the river. There was no station here for some time and they had to go to Rainier to board the train.

In 1906 the Beaver Lumber Co. bought a site north of the Graham property, and began operations in 1907, and Danby was re-named Prescott.

Problem Addict

Rainier, or as it is sometimes known: Alibi Juice, the Carbonated Facial, and the Great Emancipator, was originally brewed in Seattle in 1884.

The company was also known for employing the most beautiful women in the city to swim naked through the beer to give it that little extra lilt. Some of these women, in search of greater economic freedom, took other jobs in Seattle as well. This probably had something to do with the “Ring of Rainier,” a distinctive set of sores that surrounded the mouths of Rainier drinkers at the time.

In 1901, the brewery was sold to a man named Adolph Hitler—Wait, I’m sorry, I can’t read my own writing, it actually says the brewery was sold to a man named Kenneth Blumenthal. Under Blumenthal’s direction, the brewery grew and focused sales on the fringe groups that appreciated it the most: transients, drifters, and women. For this same reason, Rainier beer cans began bearing the slogan, “Rainier: Your first step to a very dark place.”

Blumenthal sold the Rainier brewery to a California businessman who sold it as a De-gumming agent.

Five years later, that same California businessman was killed in a train yard by Charlie Chaplin in the world’s first comedy snuff film before anyone realized that there should be no such things as comedy snuff films. The horrifying footage was re-edited and became the delightful Chaplin classic “The Tramp.” Soon after, Rainier was sold to a company back in Seattle.

In 1927, to reduce costs, Rainier started to be made with water from the Duwamish River, a river known for its many “pudding-like” qualities. Some worried that this would alter the taste of Rainier, since fish continually vomiting a combination of DDT, fiberglass, and rusty nails makes up 3 percent of the Duwamish. But any worries regarding Rainier were allayed when health officials realized that 4 percent of the Duwamish is actually Rainier beer caused, sure, by industrial dumping but mostly careless urination.

In 1934, Rainier was briefly sold as “Goodnight Medicine for Overactive Children.” This practice was stopped when overactive children started stabbing people for “goodnight medicine.”

In 1951, the first Rainier was exported to Japan. Japan sent it all back.

In 1967, a publicity photo shoot for Rainier coincided with a downtown riot. Needless to say, a man wearing a Rainier can costume was thrown through a plate glass window by looters. This influenced the new slogan printed on cans and bottles, “Rainier: We don’t want any trouble.”

Between 1975 and 1977, due to complaints, the Center for Disease Control actually listed Rainier beer as a virus. It had a place in the CDC’s sample refrigerator between rabies and rickets. During this time, cans of Rainier were forced to carry a Mr. Yuck sticker.

In 1980, a second Rainier brewery was opened in Newark, New Jersey to increase the beer’s national distribution. This was closed weeks later when it was discovered that, given the choice, nobody else in the country ever chose Rainier.

In 1999 when the brewing facilities were being moved down to Olympia, a beer salesman, who is basically like a car salesman without a inch of soul, told me that Rainier was no longer going to be produced with corn syrup. Also, the brewers were going to “try harder.” I think the beer suffered as a result of both decisions.

Throughout the years there has always been the rumor that Rainier is full of carcinogens. I’d have to ask you, “What isn’t full of carcinogens?” And then you’d say, “Most things” and then I’d change the subject.

Rainier is now made in Irwindale, California with water from Irwindale, California. Some of the highlights of Irwindale, California? Guy Lancelot’s Museum of the American Drinking Straw for one. The 99-cent movie theater is the other.

Rainier is brewed in the parking lot of a Irwindale Jack in the Box by people who have a choice between picking up roadside garbage or brewing Rainier beer. You can taste their aversion to work in every sip.

Looking back at Rainier’s long history in Seattle, it’s hard to imagine the two separated. It might legally be considered poison, but it’s local poison.

So, I’d like to raise a toast to the swift return of Rainier and the knowledge that, like a bad penny or herpes, Rainier will always come back.


This People's History of Rainier Beach High School is taken from Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000 by Nile Thompson and Carolyn J. Marr. That book, published in 2002 by Seattle Public Schools, compiled profiles of all the public school buildings that had been used by the school district since its formation around 1862. The profiles from the book are being made available as People's Histories on HistoryLink.org courtesy of Seattle Public Schools. It should be noted that these essays are from 2000. Some of the buildings profiled are historic, some of recent vintage, and many no longer exist (new names and buildings not included in these profiles from 2000 have been added), but each plays or has played an important role in the education of Seattle's youth.

Rainier Beach High School

Plans for a combined junior and senior high school in the southeast section of the city were initiated in 1957. A portion of the site was purchased from the City of Seattle in August 1958. During the planning stages, the school was known as Southeast Seattle Junior-Senior High School. It was to be named after Samuel Gompers, a noted pioneer in the labor movement, but that name was given to a trade school instead (see Rainier). The architectural plans submitted in 1959 showed two alternatives for the building, with or without an auditorium and gymnasium. After much controversy, the auditorium was dropped from the plans for financial reasons.

At that time, it was felt that a combined facility for grades 7-12 would be adequate for many years to come. Rainier Beach Junior-Senior High School opened in September 1960 with 845 students in the junior high level and 412 high school students. As was the practice when opening new high schools in Seattle, there was no senior class and only a small junior class entered the first year. By 1967, the school was overcrowded, with 2,159 students housed in a building designed for 1,500. The principal, Don Means, urged the school district to establish a separate facility for the younger students. The Model Middle School began in portables on the grounds of Rainier Beach in September 1970. The first year only 7th graders attended the middle school the next year it comprised grades 7-8. The middle school moved to a new permanent building called South Shore in December 1973. The following September, American Indian Heritage School moved into the portables at Rainier Beach.

In 1968, Rainier Beach and its feeder elementary schools developed a K-12 individualized program that became a model for inner city schools. This program included ungraded curriculum in some subjects, small groups of teachers, counselors and students who monitored individual progress, and an alternative program. In 1969, Rainier Beach was selected to participate in the international Model Schools project. Student activities including clubs and athletics grew to become part of the school's evolving tradition. Over the years, the boys' basketball team has done exceptionally well, winning the 3-A state championship, then the 2-A championship in 1988.

During the 1980s and 1990s, a district policy limiting the percentage of minority enrollment in any one school meant that some neighborhood residents were not able to attend the school. These guidelines, which were put into effect to qualify for federal benefits, are now being relaxed to allow more local participation in the school.

Several innovative programs originated at Rainier Beach. From 1975 to 1983, students in an aviation class built an experimental plane that was eventually auctioned off for over $3,000. The Boeing Company has been an active partner in this and many subsequent technology programs. Fall 1990 marked the inception of a Model Teaching Academy that prepares students for college and a career in education, one of five such academies in the country. Today the DECA program in marketing education is the premier business program in the district, with students winning both state and national awards. Also at Rainier Beach, the Belief Academy for students with learning and behavioral disabilities has used integrated teaching techniques to create a positive learning environment. Rainier Beach was also the first school in the district with a Teen Health Center, established in 1988.

A long-awaited Performing Arts Center opened in fall 1998. Since the original auditorium had never been constructed, this visual and performing arts magnet school finally got a first-class facility. The new auditorium provides a state-of-the-art stage and comfortable seating. An exterior canopy and entry plaza enhances the appearance of the center's curved blue walls.

Name: Rainier Beach Junior-Senior High School
Location: 8815 Seward Park Avenue S
Building: 2-story brick
Architect: John W. Maloney
Site: 21.6 acres
1960: Named on March 9 opened on September 7
1972: Became Rainier Beach High School
1998: Performing Arts Center opened

Rainier Beach High School in 2000
Enrollment: 786
Address: 8815 Seward Park S
Nickname: Vikings
Configuration: 9-12
Colors: Blue and orange
Newspaper: The Viking Shield
Annual: Valhalla

This essay is part of HistoryLink's People's History collection. People's Histories include personal memoirs and reminiscences, letters and other historical documents, interviews and oral histories, reprints from historical and current publications, original essays, commentary and interpretation, and expressions of personal opinion, many of which have been submitted by our visitors. They have not been verified by HistoryLink.org and do not necessarily represent its views.

Seattle Public School District

Aerial view, Rainier Beach School, Seattle, 1965

Courtesy Seattle Public Schools (021-1)

Rainier Beach School High, Seattle, 2000

Photo by Mary Randlett, Courtesy Seattle Public Schools (021-82)

Entrance, Performing Arts Center, Rainier Beach High School, Seattle, 2000

Photo by Mary Randlett, Courtesy Seattle Public Schools (021-84)


Nile Thompson and Carolyn J. Marr, Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000 (Seattle: Seattle Public Schools, 2002).

Rainier began in the 1870s as a stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad line between Kalama, Washington and Tacoma. Situated amidst the ‘ten al quelth’ prairies – Lushootseed for "the best yet" – it was named for its view of Mount Rainier. [5] In 1890, Albert and Maria Gehrke were the first permanent settlers to homestead in Rainier later that year a store and post office were established by Henry Harmer, who homesteaded with his wife Jessie and children on the Deschutes river near Rainier. [5] Rainier was officially platted in 1891. [6]

In 1896, the community's first full-time school as well as a Lutheran church were built by Albert Gehrke and his two brothers, Theodore and Paul [5] the buildings are now state historic landmarks. [7]

In 1906, the Bob White Lumber Company opened, bringing prosperity to the area through logging and sawmilling. [5] Other lumber companies, such as Deschutes, Gruber and Docherty, and Fir Tree, were soon attracted to the area as well. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, several of these mill operations and many of the local buildings were destroyed by a series of fires, leading many residents to seek work at Weyerhaeuser Lumber at nearby Vail, which is now a ghost town. [5]

Rainier's 1940 population was 500. [8] In 1941, the WPA Guide to Washington described Rainier as "the social center for farmers and loggers of the vicinity, although its closed mills and vacant houses mark it as a ghost lumber town." [8]

Rainier was officially incorporated on October 23, 1947. [9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.73 square miles (4.48 km 2 ), all of it land. [10] In terms of land cover, 18% (179 acres) of the city is urban, 27% (267 acres (1.08 km 2 )) is forested, and 55% (540 acres (2.2 km 2 )) is covered with non-forest vegetation and soils. [11]

The climate of Rainier tends to be relatively mild. Although the temperature reached a record high of 104 Fahrenheit in 1981, the average temperature of the hottest month, August, is 77 °F. [12] Similarly, while the record low temperature was -8 °F in 1979, the average temperature of January, the coldest month, is 32 Fahrenheit. [12] With an average of 8.13 inches of rainfall, November is the wettest month. [12] Rainier averages approximately 50 inches of precipitation a year. [13]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960245 −26.0%
1970382 55.9%
1980891 133.2%
1990991 11.2%
20001,492 50.6%
20101,794 20.2%
2019 (est.)2,287 [3] 27.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [14]
2018 Estimate [15]

2010 census Edit

As of the census [2] of 2010, there were 1,794 people, 656 households, and 484 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,037.0 inhabitants per square mile (400.4/km 2 ). There were 717 housing units at an average density of 414.5 per square mile (160.0/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 90.7% White, 1.2% African American, 1.2% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.0% of the population.

There were 656 households, of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.2% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the city was 37.1 years. 26.1% of residents were under the age of 18 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24 28.2% were from 25 to 44 29.2% were from 45 to 64 and 9.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.

2000 census Edit

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,492 people, 530 households, and 410 families residing in Rainier. The population density was 922.8 people per square mile (355.6/km 2 ). There were 551 housing units at an average density of 340.8 per square mile (131.3/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 92.56% White, 0.54% African American, 1.81% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.89% of the population.

There were 530 households, out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 30.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The median income for a household in Rainier was $42,955, and the median income for a family was $44,226. Males had a median income of $34,609 versus $27,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,636. About 6.6% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.

Rainier features eight acres of parks. [16] In the center of town, the Veterans Memorial Park is dedicated to "all veterans, active duty personnel, reservists of the armed services, and members of police and fire services, and any individual or group that serves our community and country." [17]

Nearby, Wilkowski Park is the site of the Rainier Roundup, the city's annual bluegrass music festival occurring on the fourth weekend in August. [18] [19] Beside the park, the Yelm–Tenino Trail connects the cities of Yelm, Rainier, and Tenino in a paved pathway for walkers and bikers. [20]

Other parks in Rainier include Gehrke Park, Holiday Park, and Raintree Park. [16]

The government of Rainier comprises a mayor and a city council. In 2017, Robert Shaw became the mayor of Rainier. [21] The city council in 2010 consisted of councilmembers Kristin Guizzetti,George Johnson, Tom Arnbrister, Jonathan Stephenson, and Everett Gage. [22] Other government positions in Rainier include that of city administrator, clerk, treasurer, city attorney, fire chief, and public works director.

Rainier is served by the Rainier School District. The district consists of an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. As of May 2017, the district's enrollment was 847 students, taught by 49 teachers. [23] As of 2017, the superintendent of the district was Bryon Bahr. [23]

As of May 2017, Rainier Elementary School was serving 372 students, from kindergarten through fifth grade, with Rita Meldrum as principal. [23] The enrollment of Rainier Middle School, which serves sixth through eighth grade, was 186 as of 2017, with the principal as of 2017 being John Beckman. [23] Rainier High School, also served by principal John Beckman, included 252 students from ninth through twelfth grade in 2017. [23] [24]

Under the non-profit parent corporation of the Rainier Area Building Community, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Rainier Historical Society began restoring Rainier's historic schoolhouse, which was built in 1915, and converting it into a community center known as the Lifelong Learning Center. [25] In 2005, the Rainier Food Bank was opened at the site, serving patrons on Wednesdays and Saturdays. [26] A thrift store was also opened, with the proceeds going to fund the operational costs of the building. An art gallery and public meeting rooms followed. In November 2009, the Rainier Volunteer Library opened at the center, featuring a collection of donated books available for borrowing. [27] A partnership with the Timberland Regional Library brought the addition of a computer kiosk and the ability to pick up reserved books from the Timberland Regional Library system at the Rainier Volunteer Library. [28] In the fall of 2011, the food bank, under the name Rainier Emergency Food Center, relocated to a nearby church due to safety concerns at the historic schoolhouse. The building, which had been near demolition, was returned to the school district to be used for offices in 2015, its centennial year, and the library and thrift store were closed. [29]

Rainier hosts several annual events. In August, Rainier Roundup Days include a community parade and a bluegrass music festival. [18] [19] Also in August, the Rainier Community & Alumni Celebration is held to honor all past & present residents of Rainier. [30] The community regularly hosts Relay for Life, during which, over an 18-hour time frame, participants walk around the high school track to raise money for the American Cancer Society. [31] [32]

Rainier Scholars Stats

  • 100% of scholars graduate high school on time and ready for college
  • 99% of scholars are admitted to at least one four-year institution
  • 90% of scholars are expected to earn a college degree within a five-year time frame
  • 90% of scholars come from a household without a college degree

University Prep currently has 41 Rainier Scholars, more than any other independent school of similar size.

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Rainier sch. - History

MaryAnn Brookhart remembers the day in 1964 when her parents dropped off her 12-year-old brother, Gregory Paul, at the Rainier School for the developmentally disabled in Buckley, Washington. She was 17 and had insisted on riding with them.

"They took him out of the car and sometime later they came back without him and not a word was said — ever," Brookhart said.

From that day forward, the Rainier School was Gregory's home while his parents and 10 siblings lived about an hour away in Tacoma, Washington.

Initially it was traumatizing, Brookhart said. On the occasions when she visited her brother, who was nonverbal and diagnosed with severe "mental retardation," he seemed institutionalized and "beat up." But over the years, Brookhart came to accept that the state-run Rainier School was where her brother belonged.

"I finally got to that place where it was the only place for him, and it was good," Brookhart said.

By the 1970s, more than 4,000 developmentally disabled people were served in six state institutions spread across Washington, according to the Department of Social and Health Services.

Over the decades, that population fell dramatically as a national movement took hold to deinstitutionalize people with disabilities. But Gregory remained at the Rainier School. Year after year. Decade after decade.

As demand fell, institutions began to close. In the early 1990s, the state shuttered the Interlake School near Spokane, Washington. In 2011, the Frances Haddon Morgan School in Bremerton, Washington, also closed.

Today, most of the state's 50,000 developmentally disabled clients live in the community. Roughly 600 of those people remain in the state's four remaining residential habilitation centers.

Beginning in the late 1990s, after her mother died, Brookhart started visiting her brother regularly at the Rainier School from her home in University Place, Washington. Six years ago, she became his legal guardian.

And then last March, a letter arrived in the mail that changed everything.

The letter said the federal government was decertifying the unit that Gregory lived in and that he needed to relocate.

"It was absolutely so frightening," Brookhart said.

The idea of her brother having to move after more than half a century — 55 years — at the Rainier School seemed overwhelming.

The closure of PAT A, one of three residential facilities at the Rainier School, affected 87 residents. Many of them, like Gregory, lived there for decades. One resident lived there 76 years.

As the weeks passed and the reality set in, Brookhart began to have a change of heart. She credits a counselor at the Rainier School, David Klingensmith, for patiently addressing the family's fears for Gregory. Klingensmith also referred Brookhart to the Family Mentor Project, where she met other families whose loved ones had made the transition out of state institutions.

Over time, Brookhart's sense of dread was replaced by hope for her brother.

Beginning in April, the state began moving five to 15 clients a month out of the closing unit. About half went to state-operated nursing facilities at the Fircrest Residential Habilitation Center in Shoreline, Washington, and Lakeland Village in Spokane, Washington.

The remaining residents were moved into group homes in the community. Gregory was a candidate for placement in one of those homes.

In July, the family learned where he was going. Gregory was assigned to a State Operated Living Alternatives home located on a golf course in Lacey,Washington, near Olympia. He would live with three other clients from the Rainier School, including his best friend. The home is staffed around-the-clock by state employees.

After renovations were made to accommodate the special needs of the clients, Gregory and his housemates moved in earlier this month. As with any move, Brookhart said her brother had to get used to his new surroundings. But so far it's going well — extremely well.

"I've been up there four times and I'm blown away [by] how happy Greg is," Brookhart said. "Never did I think he could make it through this huge move."

One sign of his happiness: Brookhart said when she used to visit her brother at the Rainier School he'd use hand signals to let her know he wanted to go for a ride in the car. But now he doesn't ask anymore. Instead, he wants to explore his new neighborhood in his wheelchair.

"It's a miracle," Brookhart said.

There's also something else Brookhart has noticed. The neighbors have been warm and welcoming to Gregory and his housemates. It wasn't always that way.

"Sixty years ago, neighbors didn't want anything to do with my brother," Brookhart said. "It's beyond wonderful."

According to the state, 69 clients have been moved so far from PAT A at the Rainier School. Eighteen clients remain. The deadline to have them all out is Sept. 30, 2019.

Gregory turns 67 next week. For the first time since he was 12, he will celebrate his birthday in his own home.


The Administration of the Rainier School District acknowledges that culturally diverse and underserved populations within public school&rsquos systems must receive equitable treatment, at that these factors should not be a predictor of overall student outcomes. The Rainier School District will address the gaps that continue to exist because of history, current, or institutional practices that do not take into account the value of the diversity of our student body and community. It is a benefit to the entire Rainier Community when an emphasis is placed on the success of each and every child. The School District has a collective responsibility, and should be accountable, to ensure that children of every race, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, and ability, reach their full potential.

The Beliefs and Commitments of the Rainier School District continue to be:

  • Learning is vital and necessary for ALL.
  • Staff, family and community working together contribute to the success of each student.
  • Education creates an informed citizen that is informed of his/her strengths.
  • Learning requires a safe and caring environment.

Therefore, we are committed to:

  • Providing a diverse and respectful learning environment.
  • Ensuring a collaborative atmosphere where students actively participate and take ownership for their learning.
  • Setting high expectations for ALL.
  • Providing a creative and motivating environment where students are able to take risks and explore their potential.

The Rainier School District aspires to provide respectful and relevant learning environments that include diversity, as well as create schools where students, families, community members, and employees feel welcome and supported. Culturally diverse factors including race, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability should not be a predictor of student success.

District Response:
The district will prioritize eliminating barriers created by disparity and disproportionality through the following actions:

  • Provide ongoing professional development opportunities on cultural awareness and literacy.
  • Implement and train staff on the use of the equity decision making tool.

Equity in District and Systems Operations:

  • Continue the development and implementation of the equity decision making tool.
  • Collect, analyze and use disaggregated data (where legally allowable and appropriate), with impact on cultural diversity as a focus.
  • Identify institutional barriers and transform policies and practices that lead to over-representation of students from underserved populations, including, but not limited to discipline and special education.
  • Identify institutional barriers and transform policies and practices that lead to under-representation of students from underserved populations, including, but not limited to Highly Capable, accelerated learning, and advanced courses at the Middle School level for High School Credit.
  • Recognize and empower the families of underserved students to become partners for student success.
  • Conduct annual reviews of institutional practices and goal setting for equity and addressing gaps in cultural diversity and underserved populations.

Cross Reference School District Policies:
3205 Sexual Harassments of Students Prohibited
3205P Procedure
3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying
3210 Nondiscrimination
3210P Procedure
3211 Gender-Inclusive Schools
3211P Procedure

June 18th 2021 - Notice of Chlorine Shortage

The City of Rainier was informed of the potential for a shortage of Chlorine in the region for the drinking water system on June 17th.

Staff immediately assessed the situation. The city has a reserve of 30 to 40 days supply. The staff with the approval of the Mayor stopped all irrigation of City properties to reduce the demand for chlorine.

Arrangements have been made to work with the supplier to maintain a minimum amount to keep the drinking water system safe.

The city does not use chlorine at the wastewater plant. The disinfection process for the wastewater is with ultraviolet light.

Voluntary reductions for irrigation and other non-essential uses would help bridge the gap until the supply is restored.

City RV Park Closed

At its Monday, May 3 meeting, the city council voted unanimously to indefinitely close the city's RV Park property at 696 West A Street. This closure came at the recommendation of city staff.

Letter to Governor Brown May 3, 2021

Elected officials throughout the county signed off on the letter, which went to the governor in protest of the county being placed back in the high risk category.

Honoring Richard Sanders

Rainier City Councilor Richard "Rick" Sanders passed away the evening of April 18, surrounded by loved ones.

Sanders was a 25-year resident of Columbia County, with 15 of those being in Rainier. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and was an honorably discharged veteran.

Following his military service, Sanders spent most of his career working for Portland General Electric. He dedicated much of his post-retirement life to public service, with stints on Rainier's Planning Commission and Budget Committee.

Sanders successfully ran a write-in campaign for a City Council seat in the November 2018 election. He served on the council ever since.

In his spare time, Sanders enjoyed being with his grandchildren, recreational boating and riding his motorcycle. The flag at Rainier City Hall is at half mast in his honor. There will be a moment of silence for Sanders at the council's May 3 meeting.

Local Matters on KLTV

Mayor Jerry Cole and City Administrator W. Scott Jorgensen appeared on the March 31 edition of Local Matters on KLTV.

Click the link below to watch the video:

COVID-19 Vaccine at Senior Center March 19, 2021

The Rainier Senior Center is going to start giving the COVID vaccine on Thursday, March 25 and every other Thursday after that.

To get placed on the list, call the center at 503-556-3889 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. or noon to 1 p.m.

There is no waiting list for people to get the vaccine. The list is prioritized by age and people with illnesses going first.


Have you tried finding a Covid Vaccination but are having a hard time figuring it out?

Please call City Hall between the hours of 09:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday and leave your contact information with staff. A local dedicated volunteer on the Taskforce will help you schedule a vaccination.

Please note we do not give the vaccination.
We will do our best to help you find one.

Road Closure

The portion of 1st Street between the 500 and 600 blocks
has been temporarily closed to through traffic.

NOTICE: Rainier City Hall Re-Opens March 1 Feb 25, 2021

Rainier City Hall will be re-opened to the public March 1 for its usual operating hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The library will resume its regular hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays and 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be closed Sundays and Mondays. No more than six patrons will be allowed inside the library at any given time.

Sand Bags Available

Sand bags and sand are available free to the public and located at the city's waste water treatment plant at 690 West A Street and across from the Fire Department at the intersection of West 2nd and C streets. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels.

The City has Partnered with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA)

The City has partnered with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA), a provider of home emergency repair solutions to homeowners nationwide, to offer Exterior Water Service Line Coverage and Exterior Sewer/Septic Line Coverage to Rainier homeowners.

Many homeowners are not aware that they are responsible for certain repairs. For example, many Americans don't know that they are responsible for repairs to water service and sewer/septic lines on their private property. Many homeowners are not prepared to handle the high costs of unexpected water service or sewer/septic line breakdowns.

Optional plans from SLWA can help protect you from the potentially expensive repair costs of water and sewer/septic lines inside and outside your home.

You can visit www.slwofa.com or call 1-844-257-8795 for more information or to sign up for coverage.

Project Planned for West 4th to West 3rd Between E and F Streets

The City is planning on conducting a project from West 4th to West 3rd between E and F Streets. This project includes the lining and repair of the main sewer line, the replacement of the water line with a six inch line, fire hydrants and service lines to the water meters, storm drainage and resurfacing of the road with payment approximately 28 inches in width.

Planning for the project is currently underway, and the inspection of the sewer line and requests for quotes have been submitted.

The water line replacement is estimated to take place in the fall of 2020. Repair of the sewer line would then follow in November or December of that year. Storm drainage work would occur around January 2021, with road preparation and paving anticipated two months afterward, with the streets ready to be paved by June 2021.

For more information, call Public Works Director Sue Lawrence at 503-396-1736 or City Hall at 503-556-7301.

Small Business Resources: Letter From the Mayor Apr 15, 2020

Small Business Resource Page
To assist our business community, up to date information will be posted as it becomes available.

"I am offering the time and effort of city staff and its resources to assist you as much as possible in accessing this imminently needed aid. If you find you need assistance in applying for a loan or grant or assistance cutting through the red tape that is an inevitable part of these programs, city staff will do its best to help"

Rainier, Oregon Mayor Jerry Cole has declared a state of emergency Mar 16, 2020

Rainier, Oregon Mayor Jerry Cole has declared a state of emergency for the city of 2,000 residents that sits along the Columbia River in Columbia County.

The declaration will not only streamline assistance to residents and businesses to weather the unprecedented viral outbreak, but allow the city government to expedite actions needed to protect individuals and businesses in the city as well as use special procedures to expedite the purchase of goods and services needed by city departments to maintain safety, health, and wellbeing in Rainier.

"I want to assure everyone that Rainier is as safe, secure and protected as possible during this challenging time of COVID-19. This infection is being more fully understood every day, and more specific preventative measures are being formulated daily. Until we understand the full picture of the disease and the best responses to it, we must follow the broad preventative measures as directed by the President, Congress, our Governor, Columbia County, and State health officials."

"While these declarations are often used by cities when there is major disruption from a highly visible natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake, we are now threatened by in invisible and sometimes lethal threat," said Mayor Cole. "We have little experience with a contagion and what damages it may bring to our community and how long the measures needed to attempt to stem its rapid growth may take. This declaration, along with those of the President and the Governor, are part of a coordinated effort that will aid in our ability to tap into outside resources and ease the process to receive any possible Federal reimbursement for costs incurred."

"I ask that you all help us by following the guidelines, rules and recommendations that the City, County, State and Federal governments issue - these are the best directives to keep you safe and to limit the impacts of COVID-19," said Cole. "There is information and links to the Small Business Administration and the CDC on the city website, cityofrainier.com that are strong resources available 24 hours a day."

The declaration took effect at midnight on March 16, 2020 and will stay in effect through April 30, 2020.

Keep Up to Date on COVID-19 at CDC Website Mar 16, 2020

Developments on the spread, treatment, and social restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak change rapidly. The Centers for Disease Control have put into action a comprehensive website with information and news on prevention, treatment, the spread of the virus and much more.

Guidance for Businesses and Employers Mar 16, 2020

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

There are applications for low-interest loans, information about Small Business Administration Products and Resources, as well as Guidance for Businesses and Employers during this time.

Of particular interest to small businesses in our area is the following:

Watch the video: Τασούλα Βερβενιώτη - Προφορική Ιστορία στην Εκπαίδευση - 1ο μέρος (May 2022).