Join us as we take a journey through the history of the YMCA of York and York County! In this edition, we explore the Y’s early years from 1855 to 1884.


1855: The YMCA opens a chapter in York. Meetings were originally held in the Weiser Building on Continental Square.

1855 – 1856: In order to raise the funds needed to build a library and reading room for young men and boys in the community, the York YMCA’s first president, David O. Prince, organizes a Lecture Series.

1861: The Civil War begins and, because thousands of young men are off fighting in the war, YMCA chapters all around the country, including the York YMCA, struggle and local churches start their own YMCA chapters.

1869: In response to a changing community, the York YMCA merges with the many YMCA chapters started by local churches.

1879: The York YMCA builds a chapel on Princess Street at Park Avenue, where it purchases its first exercise equipment and provides instruction in religion, sewing, and garment making.

1884: The York YMCA moves to its first permanent home, 122 West Market Street, and starts offering classes in mechanical drawing, bookkeeping, and penmanship.