Reception Lobby of Y.M.C.A., Columbian Block, Bath, 1916

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Reception Lobby of Y.M.C.A., Columbian Block, Bath, 1916

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This original photograph of the reception lobby of the YMCA was published in the April 8, 1916 edition of the "Bath Independent." Galen Moses (1835-1915) was the prime benefactor of this organization, allowing them to build a space of their own, in this portion of the Columbian Block in 1894.

The Young Men's Christian Association of Bath was formed in May of 1856, just four years after the organization began in this country in Boston. For a number of years, the group met in the downtown Ledyard Block on Centre Street. In 1889, the organization broadened their efforts and relocated in a larger, eleven-room suite on Front Street. After the fire of 1893 when the Columbia Theatre and block was destroyed, it was decided that the new block should be larger and include a large portion of the building strictly for the Y.M.C.A. Galen Moses contributed $50,000 to that portion of the construction. He also remembered the organization in his will. The Bath native figured significantly in city-wide philanthropic efforts. Moses' portrait can be seen here in the photograph, hanging over the fireplace.

The Y.M.C.A. has served a variety of purposes over the years as part of its mission. Before the High School had a gymnasium, student athletic events took place here. During World War I, when the city was bursting at the seams while building vessels for the nation, much of the space was used as housing for workmen and seamen. During World War II, the U.S.O. used part of this portion of the Columbian Block. Although additions and modernizations occurred over the years, it was determined in the 1990s that the "Y" needed more space. In April of 2001, the YMCA moved to its new location on Centre Street in Bath.

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About This Item

  • Title: Reception Lobby of Y.M.C.A., Columbian Block, Bath, 1916
  • Creation Date: 1916
  • Subject Date: 1916
  • Locations:
    • Bath, Sagadahoc County, ME
    • Bath, Sagadahoc County, ME
    • Bath, Sagadahoc County, ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 11.7 cm x 18 cm
  • Local Code: Private Collection--HW
  • Collection: Private collection
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Patten Free Library
33 Summer Street, Bath, ME 04530
(207) 443-5141

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