Historical Timeline

 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 Our 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.