Nationally, YWCA has been at the forefront of the most critical social movements for more than 160 years — from women’s empowerment and civil rights, to affordable housing and pay equity, to violence prevention and health care.
Locally, YWCA Mohawk Valley was founded in 1885 and incorporated in 1904. After 115 years, we are still #OnaMission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. All of our services and programs are available to all people working and living throughout Herkimer and Oneida counties.
July 11 – Organized as Christian Women’s Association with 52 members. Mrs. P.H. Fowler, wife of the late Rev. PH Fowler of the First Presbyterian Church, served as the CWA’s first president. Their goal was to provide a boarding house for young women moving to the city to start an independent life.
May 1 – Reading Rooms at 5 Devereux Street opened
September 1 – Celebrated 14th anniversary, 21 Court Street, Utica
Through 1887 – relocates to 35 Charlotte Street, Utica
WCA becomes YWCA, so the local WCA continues to operate as member of the nationally organized YWCA.
May – Constitution and bylaws adopted by Women’s Class & Reading Room, operating at 5 Devereux Street, to become official program of YWCA MV.
Amelia H. Sheffield serves as first president of the local Young Women’s Christian Association.
YWCA relocates to 35 Charlotte Street, Utica.
White Lily Band formed for girls 10-15 years old
Mutual Improvement Society organized for girls over 15 years old
Through 1892 – YWCA MV relocates to 35 Devereux St., Utica
Rented rooms at YMCA building on Charlotte street with a separate entrance
Gifted a $10,000 building on the lands where the Industrial Home stood. Gift given in memory of Georgia Porter, by her mother
Reading room locates to Georgia Porter Memorial Building, 323 Court Street
Name changed from “Women’s Class & Reading Room” to “Working Girls Club”
Susan B. Anthony spoke in Utica (Clippings 1884 -1924 book)
October 8 – First Executive Director, Miss Ella P. Morrison, is appointed
Camp Als Ikh Kan established (to be named that at a later date)
Program offering 10 cent suppers for girls working in stores on Saturday nights
October 5 – Set date to vote to incorporate as Nov. 5, 1904
November 5 – Voted for incorporation
November 19 – Incorporation official
Moved to 16 Hopper Street (picture in book marked “1884-1904”)
First Boarding Home for ten girls
Traveler’s Aid Program started
Teacup Inn opened, provides meals to women and jobs for YWCA members
Camp named as Camp Als Ikh Kan at Brantingham Lake opens officially
Moved to 264 Genesee Street (J.M. Crouse Residence)
Mortgage Papers Burned – YWCA free of debt
La Tosca Club – Industrial girls club formed
May – Purchased Curtis Dancing Academy Building on the corner of Aiken and Cornelia Streets.
Sold Genesee St. building
February 23 Dedication of 1000 Cornelia Street (book labelled 1916 – Present)
March 2-9 Whirlwind Campaign to increase membership
1663 members (Full candle light Initiation service for new members)
Cornelia Street building – Humphrey House opened to serve as residence for 41 girls.
Girls Reserves started (through 1940s)
Pool opened at Cornelia Street location
Numerous programs for unemployed girls
Focus on healthy women and fitness programs
Dances for Service Men offered in conjunction with YMCA, NYA, and Jewish Youth Council
Retired mortgage on Cornelia St. building
Y Teens & Y Girls programs offered
April – Y Guys added for boys in the area who have no place they could meet for any kind of activity. (Annual Report, 1955)
Celebrated YWCA’s national centennial
First phase of renovations to Cornelia St. location
Largest single effort made in area of racial integration and social isolation with detached workers program and day camp for 35 local children.
Teen “mixers” for older teens and college students held.
Business and Professional Club, Y’s Investors, Thursday Fun Club, Monday Forum
Camp Als Ikh Kan at Brantingham Lake closes
Sexual Violence Hotline offered, run by trained volunteers
Hall House, first Domestic Violence Shelter in Oneida County, opened following bequest from Dr. William Hall.
Sexual Violence Hotline becomes official program of YWCA in Oneida County (1988 Annual Report)
Feb 1 – 24-Hour hotline and Rape Crisis Services opens in Herkimer County
Spring – First Salute to Outstanding Women (1988 Annual Report)
Heston Foundation established. YWCA MV provides housing to homeless youth through the New Horizons program.
SV and DV services merged to become one 24-hour hotline for victims of sexual assault and familial violence.
Established only court advocacy initiative in Oneida County, aiding victims of domestic and sexual violence in family and criminal court proceedings.
Lucy’s House opened in Rome, as a safe dwelling for victims of domestic violence
Willow Commons opens
YWCA MV merges with New Horizons program
New Horizons Plus program forms
Pool closes at Cornelia Street location
Exterior Refurbishment of 1000 Cornelia Street
YWCA MV Sign erected
YWCA MV is recognized as Mayor’s Gala Honoree
Renovations to Cornelia Street location studied
August – First male ever elected to YWCA board in NYS elected to YWCA MV board (Matthew Grove)
September – YWCA MV awarded $3.14 million conditional grant for Cornelia Commons proposal for of 30 DV housing units.
October – YWCA MV participates in 30th national commemoration of DVAM – Domestic Violence Awareness Month
November – YWCA MV moves to Rutger Street location
We are proud to be affiliated with the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world. Across the globe, YWCA has more than 25 million members in 122 countries, including 2 million members connected to 210 associations in the United States. For more information about YWCA USA, visit www.ywca.org.