Boys and Girls Club of greater Salem

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  • Started in 1869 as the Salem Fraternity for Boys, Salem is home to the oldest boys club in Massachusetts and the second oldest in the nation. It was founded to serve the youth of the Salem and to offer a "safe place to go". Salem's club joined the formally federated Boston Club in 1906. In 1990 the word "girls" was added to the name of the national organization making it the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem. They celebrated their 139th year in 2007.
  • In 1899, Salem Fraterity purchased the Essex Bank Building, designed by Bullfinch, the architect of the State Capitol and built in 1811. Situated on Central Street, this beautiful building was originally built to house the Essex Bank and Insurance Company.
  • Some of the local club's alumni are former Mayor and Judge Samuel Zoll, basketball professional Rick Brunson and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. Welch has been a financial supporter as well.
  • After a few years of hard financial times in the mid 1990's and a brief closing, the club turned itself around in 1996 under the leadership of Stephen O'Grady. Three years later, he was killed in a motor vehicle accident. The club has recovered from the loss and continues to be a thriving club, helping the youth of Salem by offering activities and after-school programs and tutoring. In 2000, the Forest River baseball field was dedicated and renamed the Stephen M. O'Grady Field.
  • The club recently celebrated their 150th Anniversary with a fundraiser and dinner at the Peabody Essex Museum.

See Also

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem Club website

Vertical File in Salem Collection - Boys and Girls Club

Architecture in Salem B. Tolles, p.82-3

"Boys and Girls Club back from the brink" Salem Evening News, Dec. 5, 1996. p.C3

"Steve O'Grady obituary" Salem Evening News", Sept. 28, 1999.

"Loss of local hero; area feels effects of loss" Salem Evening News, Sept. 28, 1999. p.1.

"Driver indicted in O'Grady fatal crash" Salem Evening News, Dec. 23, 1999.

"League dedicated park to beloved coach" Salem Evening News, Apr. 24,2000.