A newly-acquired collection in Special Collections & University Archives contains a large assortment of scrapbooks covering many different aspects of the YMCA’s work at their branches throughout Mecklenburg County. Additionally, there are several meeting minute books for the board of directors, dating back to 1878.
One scrapbook that is particularly noteworthy focuses on the creation of the Second Street YMCA in 1936 in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Charlotte. The book contains newspaper clippings about the beginnings of the branch in Brooklyn, which was the first African American YMCA in North Carolina. The clippings also contain information about the many activities of the Y over its first two years of operation, including fundraisers, a community chest parade, basketball games, and a concert by the Golden Gate Quartet.
The Second Street YMCA was renamed the McCrorey YMCA in 1951 after Rev. Henry L. McCrorey, who served as president of Johnson C. Smith University from 1907 to 1947 and founded the McCrorey Heights neighborhood in West Charlotte. The Y played a very important role in the Brooklyn community until it was largely erased during urban redevelopment in the 1960s. It relocated to Beatties Ford Road in 1969 where it continues to serve the residents of West Charlotte.
This scrapbook, along with the rest of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte records, will be available for public research later this month in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of J. Murrey Atkins Library. Please see our hours and contact us for more information. Special Collections & University Archives thanks the YMCA of Greater Charlotte for this recent donation, which includes a total of 18 boxes of records.
-- Andrew Pack