Columbus in Muscogee County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Ninth Street Branch YMCA
In 1901, George Foster Peabody and his brothers made an offer to the colored men and boys of Columbus to build a YMCA on the condition they raise $1,000, purchase a building lot and get membership of 300 men. On Sunday, April 28, 1901 a mass meeting at St. James A.M.E. Church was held and the Ninth Street Branch YMCA was founded with 178 men. About 1902 the lot at 903 Sixth Avenue was purchased. Mr. Peabody and his brothers donated $20,000 to the colored people of Columbus to build the YMCA in 1907. At that time, it was the second modern Negro YMCA building in the country and the first in the South.
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The Ninth Street Branch YMCA was dedicated on Tuesday, October 8, 1907. The toastmaster for the evening was Dr. M. L. Taylor and the featured speaker was Dr. Booker T. Washington. Gertrude Pridgett “Ma” Rainey, accompanied by pianist Leila Price, performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This song would later become the Negro National Anthem. The Ninth Street Branch YMCA entertained over 100,000 men, boys, soldiers and visitors during its existence. From 1907 until its demolition in December of 1963, more than 4,000 men held active memberships in the Association.
Location. 32° 27.777′ N, 84° 59.117′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Georgia, in Muscogee County. Marker is at the intersection of 9th Street and 6th Avenue, on the right when traveling west on 9th Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Columbus GA 31901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Friendship Baptist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); First African Baptist Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); “Ma" Rainey Home (about 700 feet away); “Columbus Stockade Blues” (about 800 feet away); St. James AME Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Temple Israel (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Spencer House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Holsey Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Columbus.
Regarding Ninth Street Branch YMCA. On December 31, 1963 the gymnasium roof of the YMCA collapsed due to the weak condition of the building, snow, and ice. The Ninth Street Branch closed its doors three months later and was subsequently demolished. The site of the Ninth Street Branch YMCA is now the Police parking garage.
Categories. • African Americans • Charity & Public Work •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 266 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.