15 thoughts on “Hill Military Academy, 1936

  1. Looks like they are working on the stone work at the top of Rocky Butte at this time. I believe a WPA project.

  2. When built in 1931, Hill Military Academy was billed as the “West Point of the Pacific”. Some quick facts: The flag pole seen behind the administration building was the tallest west of the Mississippi, it was Douglas fir and 184 feet tall. The huge armory (bldg closest to the track) burned down in 1965. Most of the buildings still stand today, the City Bible Church, and 2 monolithic domes now occupy the buildings.
    Many of the surrounding streets are named after HMA. Streets such as Cadet Avenue, Academy Avenue, Benjamin Avenue (named after Benjamin W. Hill) and Hill Way are all HMA namesakes.

  3. Thanks rumblefish for the great information. I believe Hill began in the NW area but do not remember where or when.

  4. The story of Hill Military Academy is fascinating. It has its roots in a split between Joseph Hill, the founder, and those who ran Bishop Scott Grammar and Divinity School, one of Portland’s many early private schools. It was indeed originally in Northwest Portland before moving to the site seen in the photo. Here’s a story (with photos) that I wrote when still working as history reporter at The Oregonian. http://www.oregonlive.com/history/2015/07/past_tense_oregon_for_6_decade.html

  5. My street in SW used to be named Hill until co-opted by the Academy in the late twenties – early thirties…

  6. John – thanks for writing the article – Scotty Barclay, who is shown in one of the photos as a young boy, was my uncle. His brother Scooter is in his 90s, was career military, and now lives in Texas.

  7. Interested in what caused Hill Military Academy to close and when did it happen. Moved to PDX in ’47 and as I recollect it was still in operation.

  8. @Don Tucker: The school was sold to Judson Baptist College in August of 1959. I believe it had closed shortly before the sale.

  9. People used to hone their mountain climbing skills on those cliffs when I was in high school early 70’s.

  10. When I was in high school, (Wa-Hi class of 65) one of my classmates, who was a friend of mine, told me that he knew who burned down the armory up at Rocky Butte. He said the guy was a “real bad & scary dude” and had admitted that he was an arsonist. He said the guy also admitted to burning down the old forestry building. My friend told me that this guy threatened to throw him off the cliffs of Rocky Butte if he ever told anyone! How true the story is???.. I don’t know, but I met the guy once and he was extremely creepy! As a matter of fact, he scared the living hell out of me! This guy just had evil in his eyes!

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