Tim Norton, Harriet Reece and John Werner are the winners!
The Weippe High/Middle School Gorilla mascot is the answer for Week 201 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
Join in the discovery!
Monday: A landmark
Tuesday: Time gone past
Wednesday: USA Today
Thursday: A split
Friday: Much debate
Saturday: Mascot from a school now gone
A longtime Weippe landmark, the gorilla on the water tower, became a controversy a few yaers ago when the tower was repainted and Mayor Norm Steadman didn't feel that it was a good use of taxpayer funds to repaint it. It sparked quite a debate in town, especially in the city council.
Today, the 8-foot red and black gorilla in a 16-foot "W" on the tower is a landmark and reminder of days past.
Weippe High School had the gorilla as their mascot from 1927 to 1970 when the students were moved to Timberline High School. Weippe Middle School used the mascot from about 1970 until 1989.
The gorilla was painted on the tower in about 1967-68, according to Steadman. In 1976, the tower was repainted and the gorilla put back on it. Over the years, the gorilla faded out. Six or seven years ago, when the tower was repainted, the gorilla was not repainted.
Maxine Johnston, a longtime resident, lead the charge to have the gorilla painted back on the tower. A group of Weippe alumni donated the funds to have the gorilla restored to the tower and set up a fund for any future refurbishing. According to Bev Bailey raising the money was not hard because alumni were ready to donate the $1,400 to $1,600 needed for the project.
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