The YMCA is continuing its long track record of collaborating with area schools, health and human service agencies, local communities and businesses. Working together we are making efficient and effective use of funds, while demonstrating that the YMCA is a strong and stable leader and an effective vehicle for improving the quality of life in Hampshire County.
Hampshire Community United Way, Hampshire Educational Collaborative, REACH, Smith College, City of Northampton, Jessie’s House, Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, ServiceNet, Smith Campus School, Solomon Schecter, Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Clarke School for the Deaf……and many more!
The Hampshire Regional YMCA’s History
J.H. Pillsbury, a biology professor and inventor, called a meeting in Northampton on February 2, 1880, to discuss the possibility of a YMCA. In October, the first board of directors was elected and a three-year lease was signed for a suite of rooms at the Smith Charities Building on Main St. By the fall of 1890, over $2,000 had been pledged, and 165 members had enrolled in a YMCA that, as yet, offered no programs, no gymnasium, and no pool.
It was only a short time before the Northampton YMCA needed a space of its own. It took nine years, but in 1903, the Y was offered property across from the Northampton Hotel. Built for $38,000, the YMCA building on King Street and Merrick Lane was dedicated in 1904. There was a reading parlor, an auditorium, bowling lanes, a gym, and after 1914, a pool. However, the pool was so narrow that only two racers could swim in the pool at one time, and the ceiling was so low that boys could jump off of the diving board and grab bits of plaster before hitting the water.
In 1915, land was purchased for a day camp called Camp Nonotuck.
In 1922, the Y allowed Girl Scouts to use the pool at designated times for the first time. By the ‘60s, there were “more girls than we could handle,” one Y official wrote.
In 1936, a flood ruined the gym floor and bowling lanes of the YMCA. Then in 1957, the pool’s filtration system wore out. The staff repaired the building, but in 1963, a fire broke out that caused considerable and irreparable damage. The YMCA began to look for a new site. In 1967 the original YMCA on Prospect Street was erected. In 1996 major renovations began to take place for the current Y as we know it today.
Continued improvements to the facility ensure members the benefit of state-of-the-art fitness equipment, progressive fitness and wellness programs for every age group, two pools, a Fitness Wing, a Free Weights Room, and a Child Watch Wing.
Information from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, October 6, 1990.