Birthplace of the Boys & Girls Club Movement
1860 GREAT Futures Started Here: First Club in America Opens in Hartford
Four women, Mary Goodwin, Alice H. Goodwin, Elizabeth Hamersley, and Louisa Bushnell, started the Dashaway Club to get boys off the streets and participate in productive activities.
1867 The Sixth Ward Temperance Dashaway Society Continues the Dashaway Club
With the start of the Civil War, the Dashaway Club closes. Boys still meet in private homes and a mission, where they revive “The Dashaway Song.”
1880 Good Will Club Founded
Connecticut’s first female lawyer, Mary Hall, starts Good Will Club for boys. Dues were 10 cents a month.
1889 The Good Will Club’s First Permanent Club House Founded at 96 Pratt Street
Besides reading and games, classes were held in painting, gymnastics, knitting, cooking, scrapbooking, a drum and fife corps, and a cadet class.
1891 First Industrial Programs
Woodworking classes were so popular that plumbing classes followed.
1906 The Federated Boys Clubs Established
What started in Hartford, leaders from 53 independent Clubs formed a national organization.
1930 Nation’s First Boys Club Newspaper Founded
The Club starts publishing The Daily Noise, the only boys club newspaper in the nation.
1931 The Boys Club Federation of America Became Boys Club of America.
1956 Southwest Good Will Boys Club Opens
Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson helps dedicate the new Southwest Club.
1957 Old Club, New Name
Good Will Boys Club changed its name to the Boys Club of Great Hartford.
1964 Northwest Boys Club Opens
On the Corner of Granby and Nahum streets.
1990 Boys & Girls Clubs of America
The national organization changes its name: as girls join the cause.
1992 The Name Changed to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, Inc.
With the Clubs now open to girls we change our name.
1998 Trinity College Boys & Girls Club Opens
The first Club in the nation to be affiliated with a college or university. General Colin Powell dedicates the New Club.
2001 In-School Site Clubs Begin
The first after-school programming starts at West Middle Elementary School.
2004 Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club Opens
More than 1,000 members are served the first year, reaching one in every two school-aged children in the neighborhood
2008 President George W. Bush Historic Visit
Presents Presidential Volunteer Service Awarded to Joseph D. Lapenta at Northwest Boys & Girls Club.
2020 Celebrating 160 Years of GREAT Futures
160th Anniversary of opening doors and creating opportunities for youth who need us most.
2021 America’s Newest Club Opens
The South End Boys & Girls Club serving 1,500 youth in Hartford’s South End.
Through it all, kids have been our #1 priority.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford provide a safe haven for our youth, giving them an opportunity to discover their GREAT Futures.