Canyonville Academy has 100 years of history.

Canyonville's Boarding School, christian academy, boarding school founded in 1924ADELE and REV. A.M. “DAD” SHAFFER founded this college preparatory christian boarding high school in 1924. Beginning as an orphanage, the school developed into a coeducational boarding high school of high spiritual and academic standards. The first graduating class was in 1932 and was made up of two graduates, one of whom was the founders’ son, Robert. The Academy has been a full-fledged high school in continuous operation with grades 9-12 since 1935.

The earliest students of Canyonville Bible Academy (CBA)

In 1923, workers went into the woods the day after Christmas and cut down logs to begin building a little church. Because of the depression and shortage of jobs, all the men of the congregation were able to help with the work, and six weeks later the building was dedicated.

In 1931, the church was named Canyonville Bible School. The gabled building in the background housed the entire school and would later be named Hafterson House.

boarding school beginnings

Beginnings of Canyonville Bible Academy

Canyonville Christian Academy beginnings go back to 1924. This private boarding school has a rich history.

Gospel Mission – CBA Church on Main Street 1 year old (1923-34)

Hafterson House

Hafterson House was home to both men and women students. It also held the office, classrooms, lounge, dining room, and kitchen. The upstairs dormitory was divided by partitions – boys occupied the north end; girls, the south end of the building. Single male teachers lived on the boys’ side, the ladies on the girls’ side. PE CLASSES in the 1950’s were held on the open field across the street from Hafterson House where the gymnasium currently stands.

Hafferson house, christian boarding school, canyonville, oregon
Christian Boarding School, hafferson house, canyonville, oregon,
Continuing Traditions of the Early Boarding School

During World War II, supply trains ran through the neighboring community of Riddle. When the local mills filled the government orders, Dad Shaffer was able to purchase the surplus lumber that would not fit on the train.  The boys’ dorm was constructed from these materials with the help of students who earned shop class credits.

Through the 1950’s, MAY FESTIVAL was celebrated each May 1, with the traditional dance around the May Pole on the lawn north of Hafterson House. The festivities featured the coronation of the May Queen and her court. May Festival, now simply called Mayfest, is still held every year near Graduation Day!