The first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) officially started in London, England in 1844. The first YMCA in the United States opened in 1851 in Boston, MA. But do you know when the first YMCA opened in Parkersburg, WV?
Just four years after West Virginia became a state and two years after the end of the Civil War, the Parkersburg YMCA opened in 1867 to perform works of charity and was the only relief for the poor in our community. Unfortunately, later in 1867 the YMCA disbanded due to financial conditions.
In 1888, the Parkersburg YMCA again formed and provided rooms for rent and an athletic club with offices at 422 Market Street. Unfortunately, due to a lack of sufficient money and suitable quarters, the YMCA again disbanded in 1894.
Finally, in 1902 a new association started and a capital campaign was launched to construct a building. The 4-story building was completed in 1905 on Eighth Street between Market and Julianna at a cost of $85,000. The YMCA occupied this building until 1961 when the building and property were sold for $40,000. The building housed the first indoor swimming pool in the area; and in 1961 it was still the only indoor swimming pool in the area.
What's Next for Parkersbsurg YMCA? (2019, June). Retrieved from http://www.newsandsentinel.com/opinion/local-columns/2019/05/whats-next-for-the-parkersburg-ymca/