YMCa tennis & swimming
Before consolidation of the city's YMCAs, there where five local branches in the Tri-Cities. The Central YMCA, the first branch built, was established in 1909 as the first industrial YMCA in the South. In 1917, the Leaksville Y was built and the North Spray YMCA opened its doors in 1918. The Draper Y began operations in 1919, and Henry Street Y opened in 1944. Industrialist B. Frank Mebane supported the opening of the Central Y, and his mills managed it.
The Central YMCA, first Y branch, was a community center that offered pool tables, bowling alleys, and religious and physical education programs. The branch operated for 61 years.
The Leaksville branch grew in its early years, but fire destroyed the original building in 1936. Another site was founded that year, and it housed the Leaksville Y until it became the Boys Club of Leaksville.
The North Spray branch had a large growth in its early years. However, after World War II, it was absorbed by the Central Y.
The Draper branch was well equipped with showers, a bowling alley, and a billiards room. A gym was added in 1922, and this combination with the other amenities gave the Draper Y probably the best physical facilities of any YMCA building in this area.
The Henry Street YMCA was started as the black branch of the consolidated Central Y. It became a part of the consolidated YMCA that opened in 1971.
The original Eden YMCA building on Kennedy Street housed a gym, an olympic-size swimming pool, a game room, ceramics shop, canteen area, and teen room and offices. Additions to the building included the F.C. "Buck" Dumaine Youth Center that included a gym, dance room (now a state-of-the-art aerobics room), and multi-purpose room. Also added at the same time were two racquetball courts, and renovation of the existing building included separate fitness centers for men and women. In the 1990s, the separate fitness centers were combined into one fitness area, which now includes a cardio-vascular room, just added in 2000. In the late 1990s, reconstruction of the new clay-composite tennis courts was completed along with playground and picnic shelter. Fields for almost every kind of outdoor sport and an asphalt outdoor track have been added since the YMCA was built in 1971.
If you haven't been to your YMCA lately, you owe it to yourself to pay us a visit. Fitness, fun, and fellowship are what you'll find! Visit the Eden YMCA!