Home Sweet Home
Oregon State began playing football in 1893 with a modest five-game schedule. Since that time, the Beavers have used six different locations for their "home" games.
OSU's first home football field was located on lower campus directly in front of Benton and Education halls between downtown Corvallis and the university. The oldest photograph of an Oregon State football game currently in the university archives is of a kickoff in a game played in 1898 between Albany College and OSU on this site.
Field No. 2 was located directly beneath McAlexander Fieldhouse and the surface was sawdust, not grass. This field was used by head coach Fred S. Norcross to fashion some of the most impressive defensive teams in school history. From 1906-08, Oregon State gave up a total of four points in 72 quarters! The 1907 team finished undefeated, untied and gave up no points on defense, the only squad in OSU football history to achieve the almost mythical "pristine" season. Sawdust surface.
In 1910, a riot at the Civil War game between OSU and Oregon resulted in the two schools voting not to compete in athletics in 1911. Therefore, there is no Civil War game in 1911, but the series does return the next year on a "neutral" field in Albany, the brainchild of an Albany cigar-maker named Billy Eagles, who was also the brother-in-law of Oregon State head football coach Sam Dolan. OSU played three home games at this stadium from 1912-1914, UO twice, UW once. Today, the old stadium is a soccer field with no bleachers. It is located directly across highway 99E from the Amtrak station near downtown Albany and the historic Central School building.
By 1912, Oregon State was already in the process of shifting the McAlexander Fieldhouse location slightly to the west, on a piece of ground now occupied by the Dixon Recreation Center.
The stadium eventually built here, Bell Field, was the home of Beaver football until 1953, when a new facility was constructed just to the south of Bell called Parker Stadium, named for OSU alum Charles Parker, '08. Parker Stadium now has a new name, Reser Stadium (the family includes several Oregon State alumni), and much of the facility has been renovated in the past five years. But the location remains the same. The first game played at Parker was Nov. 14, 1953, against WSU, which resulted in a 7-0 win for the Beavers.
Portland's historic Multnomah (Civic) Stadium has also been the site of many "home" games for the Beavers. In the 1920s and 30s, it was common for OSU's schedule to include two or three trips to Portland for "home" games. The "Iron Man" game of Oct. 21, 1933, was played here (see
, from 9/29/00) as well as the game against the UO in which Lon Stiner's Iron Immortals were photographed executing the "Pyramid Play."
George Edmonston, Jr.