School was founded on its present site in 1879. It is the oldest
continuously operated grade school in Beaverton School District Number
48. The school was named after the Shepperd Barnes family.
Shepperd Barnes was one of nine children of Nathaniel and Jane Blanchard
Barnes, and was born in Kingsfield, Maine, on the family farm on
January 28, 1818. Shepperd Barnes' wife, Olive Small Barnes, was born on
March 6th, 1818, in Cherryfield, Maine.
Shepperd and Olive were married in 1842, when both were 24 years old.
They lived on their farm near the Penobscot River where six of their
eight children were born. In addition to being a farmer, Shepperd Barnes
worked as a drummer (salesman) for his brother William, who owned a
The Barnes family moved to Minnesota in 1855, where they homesteaded 16
acres. Their first winter was spent in a temporary home constructed of
poles covered with bark, nestled against a huge fallen elm log. Sheperd
and his sons (age 8, 10, and 13) built their permanent home from the
trees they cleared from their land the following spring. Here they lived
for the next twenty five years, having two more children and helping to
establish one of the first schools in the region.
The one-room school building on the present-day site was built in 1879,
one year before the Barnes family arrived in Oregon. The first year at
the school saw one teacher teaching all grades, with a student body
composed of five boys and four girls. When the Barnes family arrived,
they bought the land north, south, and west of the school.
The school proved to be inadequate with the coming of the Barnes family
and all their children. A new, more substantial school was constructed.
The teacher sat behind a desk on a raised platform at the head of the
room. A stove was located in the middle of the classroom. Certain
students were given the task of pumping the water from the well and
bringing it into the the school.
The school was used with no major changes until 1927 when a new school
was built. This school had two classrooms, and, for the first time,
indoor plumbing. The old schoolhouse was sold and moved across Walker
Road onto the property owned by the Berst family who used it as an onion
When Tektronix opened its plant on Jenkins Road in 1959, traffic on the
road immediately adjacent to the playground (SW Briggs Road) posed a
serious safety problem for Barnes school. The road was closed to through
traffic at the playground, where it remains a dead end street to the
The last alteration in the school's appearance and facilities occurred
in 1972. In that year the upstairs section of the part of the school
facing Walker Road was razed and rebuilt. A new library and classrooms
were added. There were also changes to the exterior of the older parts
of Barnes School which were remodeled to match the newly rebuilt
In November of 2006 the voters approved a major construction bond for
the Beaverton School District and Barnes Elementary, bursting at the
seams with nearly 700 students enrolled each of the last two years, was
one of the major recipients. Construction of nine new classrooms and
renovations to portions of the existing building began in June. Work was
completed in September 2008.
While the exterior and surroundings of the school have changed greatly,
the school itself continues a 100+ year tradition of excellence in
education. All students who enroll in the school become a part of that
tradition which will influence them positively for years to come.