Catlin Gabel History
Discover the History of Our Private School in Portland
Two schools, Catlin-Hillside School and Gabel Country Day School, merged in 1957 to become Catlin Gabel School. The Upper School relocated to the current campus on Barnes Road in 1958, with other divisions added in stages over the following decade. Our predecessor schools were founded by women who were leaders in the progressive education movement.
The history of Catlin Gabel reaches back to 1859 with the founding of Portland Academy in downtown Portland. By 1920, Portland Academy became the Preparatory School, where Priscilla Gabel was a teacher. In 1931, the Preparatory School had become Miss Gabel's School. In 1936, Miss Gabel relocated to a former golf club in rural Raleigh Hills, renaming the school Gabel Country Day School.
A true education involves more than formal development of the mind alone—it must develop the whole nature of a young human being to the utmost of his [or her] individual capacity.Priscilla Gabel, circa 1946
Ruth Catlin began Miss Catlin's School in 1911 on Northwest Lovejoy Avenue, moving into the school building she had constructed on Northwest Culpepper Terrace in 1917. She added the Hillside building to the campus in 1926. In 1928, Miss Catlin deeded the school to the board of trustees, which incorporated as the Catlin-Hillside School.
To maintain a school with the most enlightened ideals of education, content of work and methods of teaching, where each pupil is the unit of consideration, under conditions which will serve to develop his [or her] fullest powers as an individual and as a group member.Ruth Catlin, 1928