Friday, June 26, 2015

Preparing for Mohawk's 50th

Front cover of the 1968 Massamet, the yearbook of the first graduating class from Mohawk Trail Regional High School. 155 pages, black & white photos and text, published after the June 20, 1968 graduation.
BUCKLAND—The Mohawk Trail Regional School District will turn 50 in two years, and former teacher/English department head C.J. Barnes, who taught in the district for 35 years, is helping coordinate a booklet to commemorate the milestone.

Barnes told the Mohawk School Committee on Wednesday, May 20 that with the class of 2015, Student Services reports that 5,273 students will have received diplomas in the past 50 years.

The publication may contain an overview of the District's formation, the current campus then and now, and tributes to "accomplished alumni." The Mary Lyon Foundation is supporting the project.

A nomination form has been developed and names are being solicited from community members. Find a nomination form at the Mohawk Trail Regional School or by contacting Barnes at [  ]. Nomination forms will also be on the school Web site soon.

(The above article is from the Shelburne Falls & West County Independent, Thursday, May 21, 2015, page 16.) 

Nomination forms (download and print a copy) may be submitted to C. J. Barnes via email at or mailed to
C. J. Barnes
395 Mohawk Trail
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Here are a few scanned images from the 1968 Massamet (click on each image to view larger):

The first page of the Senior portraits. The Dedication on page 8 says "To be a senior is to fuss with hairdos and neckties for one moment in front of a camera to capture that first realization that you are a senior ..."

A common theme throughout the book is building a community from the three schools that were combined into Mohawk. Grade Seven mentions being fortunate to not have "the problems of rivalry between schools which the upper classes had to be so careful to avoid."

"Our first task was to decide on a name for our new publication. The Indian name of the nearby mountain, the Massamet, was chosen."

Band uniforms did not arrive in time for Booster Day. "Undiscouraged, they appeared in jeans and sweatshirts ..."

The band's  first performance in their new uniforms was during the intermission of the Junior Class play on March 22 & 23, 1968.

Student Council is formed to strengthen and unify the student body.

The Booster Day football game was played on the field at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School.

The new gymnasium was not completed until after the Christmas vacation.

Mohawk's first graduation was on June 20, 1968, at 7:00 pm in the Mohawk gymnasium. Senator Edward Brooke was the guest speaker.

Graduation photos

There are 24 pages of ads in the back of the yearbook, including this full-page ad from Western Mass. Electric Co. saluting the "First Class to Graduate from Franklin County's FIRST ALL ELECTRIC HIGH SCHOOL."