Fonds 85-001 - Young Women's Christian Association fonds

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Young Women's Christian Association fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1908-1983 (Creation)
    Young Women's Christian Association

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Physical description

1 m of textual records.

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Administrative history

The Peterborough Young Women's Christian Association was founded 1891 when a young man, who greatly appreciated what the Y.M.C.A. had done for him, felt that a similar organization should be offered to women. With the support of Mr. Colville, secretary of the Y.M.C.A., a meeting was arranged at which sixteen ladies attended (two from each church). These ladies became the charter members of the Peterborough Young Women's Christian Association. The first meeting took place over Long's Confectionery Shop on George Street. Bible studies, educational classes and club group meetings were held there. In 1892 a house on the north side of Brock Street (near George Street) was furnished to serve as a Residence for young girls who had no homes in the town. Before long all the work of the Association was carried out at the Brock Street residence. The Peterborough Y.W.C.A. was actively involved in many of the conferences and new ideas that came into the Association. For instance it was one of the first associations to take up Industrial work and offer meetings, in 1909, for girls employed at the electrical works. In 1901 the Y.W.C.A. needed to move into larger quarters due to the expansion of its members. They were able to secure rooms, with the aid of Hon. Senator Cox, on the west side of George Street and stayed there for two years. In 1904 the Y.W.C.A. decided it needed a Y.W.C.A. building and purchased the lot on the corner of Simcoe and Aylmer Streets. The Hon. Senator Cox provided rooms in the Bank of Commerce Building and the rooms on George Street and the house on Brock Street were given up. Mrs. Cox laid the cornerstone September 7, 1904 and the new building was opened in 1905. In 1912 rooms at 133 Rubidge street were formally opened. In 1916 a swimming pool was built and by May 30, 1918 was able to be used. In 1919 the Y.W.C.A. rented a cottage on Stoney Lake as a summer camp. The aim of the Y.W.C.A. was to provide religious education as well as special clubs, classes and parties to encourage the development of the all-round girl who would be the woman of the future. The Y.W.C.A. was considered a fellowship. In 1929 the Y.W.C.A. purchased nine acres of land near the centre of Stoney Lake as a campground, called Camp Inglestane and charged $7.00 a week per girl. The camp was sold at the end of the 1940's. The Y.W.C.A. continued to act as an employment bureau and forming clubs in the industrial sector. In June, 1939 the Peterborough Y.W.C.A. became more newly equipped with a more modern gymnasium and a new pool was opened. A nursery school opened in 1960. The Y.W.C.A. continued to grow and develop with each new year and national and international changes. In 1967 the Y.W.C.A. purchased the Knights of Columbus building as a Centennial project. This building was adjacent to the original Y building and was called Stevenson Hall in memory of James E. Stevenson, the original owner of the property. (Taken from: "The Peterborough Y.W.C.A. 1891 to 1981." Box 3, folder 2, Trent University Archives.) In the original Y.W.C.A. building programs such as Crossroads, which was a program for battered women and a series of shelters, and "Y's Buys" were run. The original building which was on the corner of Simcoe and Aylmer, and had been sold a number of years ago, burnt down on February 15, 1996. (See "Arthur" Volume 30, Issue 19, February 27, 1996, p 8.)

Custodial history

This fonds was created by and in the custody of the Y.W.C.A. before it was donated to Trent University.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records relating to the history, administration and programs of the Peterborough Young Women's Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.).

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Physical condition

Some of the scrapbooks are extremely frail and brittle. Do not photocopy.

Immediate source of acquisition

This fonds was donated by the Y.W.C.A.


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Further accruals are expected. Accessions to this fonds are 91-003 and 94-011.

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Box 1


1: Financial Reports: 1970 to 1979

2: 1960 to 1969

3: 1950 to 1959

4: 1940 to 1949

5: 1930 to 1939

6: 1920 to 1929

7: Gymnasium Record Book 1936 to 1937

8: Correspondence, drawing regarding stairwell enclosure, 1961

9: Peterborough south YWCA, correspondence 1954 to 1956

10: National Board: minutes and correspondence, 1957 to 1961

11: Correspondence and legal documents re: Knights of Columbus Building (Stevenson Hall) 1967 to 1976

12: Bequests: correspondence and legal documents

13: Programs: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980.

14: Newspaper clippings

15: Photographs: sports activities, including the YWCA Ornamental Swim Club "The Silver Finnettes" from the 1930s, etc.; also included is a reproduction of an early photo of women boarding a boat (a sign near the boat reads "YWCA Camp")

16: Miscellaneous

Loose Items
a: Program Minutes Book 1953 to 1955
b: Board of Managers' Minutes 1908 to 1912
c: Food Services Committee Minutes 1950 to 1955
d: Menus 1960 to 1963

Box 2

Minutes, Reports, Correspondence:


1: 1980
2: 1978
3: 1977
4: 1976
5: 1975
6: 1974
7: 1973
8: 1972
9: 1971
10: 1970
11: 1969
12: 1968
13: 1967
14: 1966
15: 1965
16: 1964
17: 1963
18: 1962
19: 1961
20: 1960
21: 1959
22: 1958
23: 1957
24: 1956
25: 1955
26: 1954
27: 1953
28: 1952
29: 1951
30: 1950
31: 1949
32: 1948
33: 1947
34: 1946
35: 1945
36: 1944
37: 1943
38: 1942
39: 1941
40: 1940
41: 1939
42: 1938
43: 1937
44: 1936
45: 1935
46: 1934
47: 1933
48: 1932
49: 1931
50: 1930
51: 1929
52: 1928
53: 1927
54: 1926
55: 1925
56: 1924
57: 1923
58: 1922
59: 1921
60: 1920
61: 1919
62: no date

Box 3


1: Pamphlets

2: History notes


a: Scrapbook: "Remember When?" (located loose on top shelf above 85-001)

b: Scrapbook: "Photographs & Memories"

c: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1983"

d: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1974-1975"

e: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1975-1976"

f: Scrapbook: "Memories .... 1953-1975" (located loose on top shelf above 85-001)

g: Fiftieth Anniversary booklet (published 1941)

h: Song Book of the YWCA

i: YWCA Centennial Booklet, 1855-1955 (2 copies)

j: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1953-1956"

k: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1957-1964"

l: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1964-1967"

m: Awards/Presentations, 1954-1968

n: Members' Council Minutes, 1957-1962

o: Members' Council Minutes, 1951-1956

p: Personnel Committee Minutes, 1949-1954

Loose Volumes (located loose on top shelf above 85-001):

1: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1967-1973"

2: Scrapbook: "YWCA History .... 1977-1979"

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