What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

Brookville's YMCA

By Nicole Kerle

Brookville is famous in history or considered historical due to the YMCA located at 122 Main Street. When hearing this statement, one might ask, "Why does the YMCA make Brookville Historical?" Brookville is the smallest community in the nation to have a full-service YMCA.

This organization was founded in 1904 and established at a meeting in the residence of Mrs. C.C. Benscoter. The desire to organize a "Y" might have stemmed from the citizens of Brookville involvement in their community's well being and future. At the time of YMCA's birth in Brookville, temperance, religious, commerce, and legislative work occupied many of the citizens lives.

The YMCA stands for Young Men's Christian Association. The YMCA is a worldwide fellowship united by a common loyalty to Jesus Christ for the purpose of developing a Christian personality and building a Christian society. The YMCA originally had been housed in Mechanic's Hall which was destroyed by fire in 1915. A new structure was erected of Neoclassical and Colonial Revival Styles. The historical architecture of this building included terra cotta cornices and trim, parapet wall, pediment, keystone, consoles, concrete bulkhead, transom, storefront, nine-over-nine windows, decorative brick piers and wrought iron railing. With the community deciding to rebuild and their choice of architecture; they are once again consciously placed in a high priority on their community and for the future of it.

Yes, Brookville is historical because it is the smallest community to have in existence a full-service YMCA, but more importantly that a need was seen within the community and action was taken to fill the void. Another historical aspect of Brookville's "Y" is that the community has sustained and believes in the mission of the YMCA and that of the forbearers of Brookville.

The Young Men's Christian Association as being in its essential genius, a worldwide fellowship dedicated to Christian principles with emphasis on the brotherhood of all persons without regard to race, sex, or creed. In its attainment of this goal, the Brookville YMCA seeks to promote the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of all persons. We also seek to emphasize reverence to God, responsibility for the common good, respect for personality and the application of the Golden Rule in Human relationships.

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