Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem 150th Anniversary Celebration
A History of Great Futures In April 1869, the Salem Fraternity for Boys, our founding organization, opened its doors at 175 Essex Street to a facility consisting of an amusement room, a reading room, and a school/work room. Education was a priority from this humble beginning as the reading room became Salem’s first public-lending library quickly acquiring a collection of 5,000 volumes. The main goal of the Salem Fraternity was “to provide entertainment, amusement, instruction, and educational opportunities for self-improvement, as well as a means of intellectual culture, sympathy, and aid in times of trouble.” It was evident from the outset that the most important need of “The Frat” was to reach the “boys of the street” at their most impressionable age. Although 150 years have passed, and names, faces and locations have changed, our mission remains the same – To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.