The 104th Buckskin Alumni Banquet will be held Saturday, June 18 at the Buckskin School Building in South Salem.
“The first banquet was held in 1913, and it has been held every year since — except for a couple of years during World War II and the last two years due to COVID,” said Buckskin Alumni Association President Rosemary Stewart, who attended Buckskin but graduated from McClain High School in Greenfield in 1967.
Buckskin High School was closed in 1965 when the school became too small to support its budget, and it was consolidated with the Greenfield Exempted Village School District. As a result, the Buckskin school building became an elementary school for the Greenfield School District.
“Because of this, the historic Buckskin school building has been preserved very well, which is an attraction for the older alumni who want to come back to the same school building they remember so fondly,” said Stewart.
Typically, each annual banquet honors the classes that graduated 50, 60 and 70 years ago and has a speaker from each class. Three years of 60-year graduates (the classes of 1960, 1961 and 1962) and three years of 70-year graduates (the classes of 1950, 1951 and 1952) will be honored this year because of the events cancelled due to COVID. The 50-year classes no longer exist because of the school’s closure.
“Of course, there are fewer and fewer Buckskin alumni each year as time passes, particularly because Buckskin graduating classes were often 20 people or less,” said Stewart.
She said many of the Buckskin teachers are particularly well remembered and revered by the alumni, and graduates also remember which bus they rode to school and which rural roads or tiny towns their bus route passed each day.
“I believe the very small size and the rural setting of Buckskin are two reasons people have fond recollections about the school,” said Stewart. “Graduates really knew all of their classmates and all of the teachers at school.”
Several years ago, the Buckskin Alumni Association began inviting people who attended Buckskin, but then graduated from McClain High School after 1965, to keep the banquet alive.
Stewart said alumni always seem to enjoy the banquet. “There is music and informal speechmaking by the current officers and by honored class representatives,” she said. “A lot of laughs are always shared at the event, and we also serve a great dinner provided by McCoy’s Catering of Wilmington.”
Alumni who do not have a registration form can attend the event by sending a $20 check made out to the Buckskin Alumni Association to Kathy Crusie Mincey, P.O. Box 77, South Salem, Ohio 45681. Attendees should include their name, graduation year, number of guests, address and phone number.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.