Skip to main content
YMCA 150 Year logo

This year marks an important milestone in the history of the Lincoln YMCA. We will be celebrating our 150th year! The first Y Association in the U.S. was established in Boston in 1851 and twenty “short” years later the Lincoln Y held its first organized meeting.

On March 1, 1871 the Daily State Journal newspaper printed the following announcement regarding the establishment of the YMCA: 

“There will be a meeting in the M.E. Church on Saturday evening for the purpose of forming a Young Men’s Christian Association. Every person in the city is invited to attend and it is hoped that all will arrange their business so as to attend.”

The first official meeting was March 11, 1871 to complete the organization and elect officers!  Our history book does not state how many residents in the city attended but the Y was off and running.  Of course as the Y evolved, the membership numbers grew exponentially when women became members of the organization!

As I reviewed some of the activities in those early days, it is easy to see that the Y has always had a special mission beyond exercise! To our valued members, staff, volunteers, and community partners…THANK YOU for your dedication, talent, and hard work as we continue to make the Lincoln Y a GREAT place for so many people in our community!

Barb Bettin
YMCA of Lincoln