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Coos Bay, Oregon


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Everett Harrington 1928

     Everett Harrington is the last, surviving member of the class of 1928, Marshfield High School.  He was born in Marshfield (Coos Bay) on February 1, 1911, the youngest of two sons of Robert P. and Ada (Crain) Harrington.  Everett attended Central School and entered MHS in 1924.  Ernest Harrington, his older brother by twenty years, served on the school board in 1936 when the present high school was constructed.  Ernest’s name is on a bronze plaque near the main entrance.

Everett graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1934 from Oregon State University, then known as OAC (Oregon Agricultural College).  He began federal employment in 1939 when hired by the newly-created Bonneville Power Administration.  World War II interrupted his employment at BPA.  He served from 1941 to 1945 as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.  Following the war he returned to Oregon and married Virginia Stovall of Bandon.  Everett rose rapidly in the BPA to become Chief of System Engineering and then Assistant Chief Engineer, the highest position in the BPA not held by political appointment.

Under Harrington’s leadership and design the BPA conceived and built an 850-mile, direct-current line to send the electricity from the hydropower dams of the Pacific Northwest to California.  The “DC Intertie” was for many years the longest, high voltage DC line in the country.  Everett also designed a mobile trailer to assist manufacturers in testing equipment on BPA lines.  This device remains in use in 2013.  He also designed power towers on skids that are periodically dragged back into position on the landslides near Bonneville Dam in the Columbia Gorge, an innovative and cost-saving means of sustaining delivery of electricity.

In 1975 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers recognized Everett Harrington for his “contributions in the application of high-voltage circuit breakers, high voltage series and shunt capacitors, and high-voltage direct-current transmission technology.”  He subsequently received a Distinguished Service Award and a Gratitude Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Everett retired from BPA in 1972 and he and his wife, and youngest daughter settled at Tumalo where he built a new home, shop, and swimming pool and began farming eighty acres of alfalfa.  The Harringtons later lived at Sun River and at Palm Desert.  In 2006 they moved to Charbonneau south of Portland, Oregon.  They have three children–Stephen, Beverly, and Susan-- and four grandchildren.  Their son, Steve, holds over 100 patents for his inventions as an engineer for the Xerox Corporation.

(Writeup submitted  by Stephen Dow Beckham, class of '58,  in January of 2013.  Everett will turn 102 in Februrary.)