On April 22, 1887, a dozen young men gathered to discuss the creation of a YMCA on the campus of State University in Eugene City, Oregon. The first seven years of the Eugene YMCA saw intermittent growth. By 1909 the first YMCA building was erected in downtown Eugene at 1076 Willamette St. The facility housed reading rooms, business offices, a gymnasium and a pool that reportedly leaked up to a foot of water every night. Both the YMCA and YWCA used the building for socials and for studying, however, women were not allowed in the pool until 1933. In 1918 the Y Hut was built on campus, serving as a student union for 32 years until the Erb Memorial Union was completed in 1950. All students were welcome to use the facility, but membership was still restricted to white Protestants.
By 1955, the Eugene YMCA moved to its present location at 2055 Patterson. The YMCA evolved from a community meeting place into a full fitness facility that served both men and women. During the 60s and 70s YMCA membership grew so quickly that by 1978 it was necessary to expand. The expansion meant that activities could be added and expanded, including childcare, camping, tennis, and teen programs. That expansion has led to the development of over 80 programs serving children as young as one month to adults in their 90s.
Today, this YMCA is one of the largest service organizations in Lane County. We are striving to meet the needs of today's population while preparing for the emerging needs of all family members who will depend upon this YMCA far into the future. We pride ourselves on the diverse atmosphere that exists throughout our programs and facility.
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