The story now is almost legendary around the halls of the Quincy Y. Twelve men gathered in 1891 to discuss the formation of a YMCA for the benefit of the people of Quincy, signing their articles of incorporation on January 4, 1892 – 125 years ago. Quincy, as a community, had tripled in population in just thirty years, with the growth of the granite industry and would grow even more with the pending rise of a local shipbuilding center on the Fore River. Thousands of young men came to Quincy to work long, tiresome hours, and the twelve founders knew they needed a place to replenish their spirit, mind and body.
From those first meetings grew today’s organization, reaching 60,000 program participants annually from Quincy to Cape Cod. From its 1904 facility at 61 Washington Street in Quincy grew the idea of a summer camp, and the birth of Camp Burgess in Sandwich in 1928. The Depression and World War II stalled progress on a new facility, but a campaign commencing in 1944 led to the construction of a new Quincy Y in 1955, which itself was torn down to make way for the newest Quincy Y, built in 2013. Through the years the association has grown to include a total of seven facilities, and to expand in scope to programs for people of all ages and abilities. But those three goals – improvement of spirit, mind and body – have never disappeared.
The South Shore YMCA will celebrate its 125th anniversary throughout 2017. The Y will hold Birthday Party Community Open Houses at both the Emilson and Quincy Branches, among other events. Watch for historic photos on our walls, our “125th” logo on staff gear and more.
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