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Collection Title: Pine Belt Family YMCA Records

Collection Number: M268

Dates: 1913-1993

Volume: 9.3 cu. ft.

Provenance: Collection donated to the University in April 1992 and April 1994 by the Pine Belt Family YMCA.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

The idea of establishing a Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA) club in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was initially discussed on July 1, 1913, by Dr. C.C. Hightower, Howard A. Gillam, and Dr. V.L. Isard. On August 13, 1913, a meeting was held to begin raising $50,000 toward the construction of a YMCA building. Temporary boards of trustees and directors were elected, and in May 1914, a contract was let for a site on the corner of Main Street and New Orleans Street in Hattiesburg. Construction began in October, 1914.

On April 13, 1915, construction had to be halted due to lack of funds. Even so, the Hattiesburg YMCA applied for incorporation that same day. On December 6, 1915, a charter of incorporation was granted under Mississippi law. Completion of the original YMCA building had to wait for World War I. The U. S. Army opened Camp Shelby as a training site, and the YMCA building was completed with National War Work Council funds early in 1918. Until early 1919, the building would be operated by the military and used almost exclusively by soldiers.

The YMCA struggled in the 1920s and 1930s due to financial problems. Virtually the only recreational facility in Hattiesburg, the YMCA housed numerous church groups and other organizations, providing them with meeting and dining space, as well as a gymnasium and other recreational opportunities. These groups often paid modest fees for such services, yet at times they paid nothing. It was during these years that J. Maury Gandy came to the Hattiesburg YMCA from Birmingham, Alabama. Hired as the Industrial Secretary in 1923, Gandy traveled to various lumber camps and factories showing safety and recreational films. Gandy would become the General Secretary in 1925, and throughout the next five decades, a Gandy would be working full time for the Hattiesburg YMCA.

1923 also saw the opening of Camp Dantzler in southern Forrest County. Under Gandy's leadership, the Hattiesburg YMCA instituted a regular summer camp at Camp Dantzler. Gandy also began Friendly Indian League baseball, the forerunner of Hattiesburg youth baseball.

The senior Gandy saw the YMCA through its most difficult times, the worst being the years of the Great Depression of the 1930s. By 1932, the YMCA's annual budget had dropped to $4,500, by far its lowest level ever. In order to keep the doors of the YMCA open, Gandy accepted a fifty percent cut in salary and moved his family into the YMCA building. The Gandy family constituted the entire staff of the YMCA for much of the 1930s. Their efforts kept the building and the organization going, with the help of numerous volunteers. Frank M. Tatum, Sr., was also instrumental in saving the YMCA; he served as president of the Board of Directors for six consecutive years.

The depression had scarcely ended when Camp Shelby reopened in 1941, several months before World War II. Soldiers soon outnumbered civilians in Hattiesburg, and the YMCA again shifted to meet the needs of the military. Soldiers were charged reduced fees, and the building was kept open longer. Extra sessions were added to the Camp Dantzler summer schedule to accommodate the children of servicemen.

The end of World War II brought relative quiet to Hattiesburg but the YMCA continued to grow. A health club was begun in the YMCA basement in 1948. Camp Dantzler was gradually modernized in the 1940s and 1950s, and plans were made for the construction of a new building. J. Maury Gandy, Jr. joined the staff as the Physical Director after his discharge from the Army in 1946. His father retired in 1947, although he remained active in supporting the YMCA.

In 1948, the Hattiesburg YMCA joined several other southern YMCA's in leaving the National Association of YMCA's due to a controversy involving the desegregation of the National Association's meetings and organizational structure. The Hattiesburg YMCA returned to the National Association in 1984.

By 1955, the need for a new YMCA building was becoming daily more apparent. The YMCA purchased a 2.5 acre site on 12th Avenue near Hattiesburg High School, which was then under construction. Fund raising drives and the sale of the old building paid for the new building, although the funds raised were insufficient for the construction of a swimming pool. The new building opened September 5, 1959.

The 1960s saw improvements made at Camp Dantzler, including the construction of a creek-side beach. Concrete cabins replaced the old wooden ones after Hurricane Camille damaged the latter. An outdoor swimming pool was added to the 12th Avenue building in 1968, with money raised in a special fund raising drive. Soon after, the Hub Fins swim team formed and began to compete with other area teams. Many of these programs were under the supervision of the Physical Director, Paul Ott Carruth. Carruth achieved local fame both as a singer and outdoorsman.

The YMCA flourished in the 1970s. Church-league basketball became a favorite winter activity, and Camp Dantzler continued to be popular in the summer. The 1977 retirement of J. Maury Gandy, Jr. marked the end of an era; for 54 years the father and son had served the Hattiesburg YMCA. The organization moved forward into the 1980s with a full complement of programs at the building on 12th Avenue. Camp Dantzler, however, had to be closed in 1980 due to damage caused by Hurricane Frederick. In 1984 the Hattiesburg YMCA merged with the local YWCA to form the Pine Belt Family YMCA. New programs implemented in the 1980s were a summer day camp, summer adult-league basketball, and morning league baseball, the latter being a baseball program for youngsters whose skills need developing.

Fund raising for a new building began in 1987 and the Camp Dantzler property was sold that year to help fund the building project. In 1993 construction began at the building site on U.S. Highway 11 south, near the Timberton Golf Course and Interstate Highway 59.

Scope and Content:

This multi-faceted collection consists of materials related to the 80 year history of the Pine Belt Family YMCA, originally known as the Hattiesburg YMCA.

The collection is divided into an overview section and three distinct series:

1) Administrative Papers

2) Recreational and Community Service Activities

3) Capital Projects

The overview section includes general material on the international and national YMCA and community information pertaining to Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Some newspaper articles on the local YMCA's history are also included.

The first series contains meeting minutes of the Board of Directors dating back to the first organizational meeting of the Hattiesburg YMCA on August 13, 1913. The first seventeen years of meeting minutes are recorded in bound record books, while later minutes are of the loose-leaf type. There are some gaps in the meeting minutes, especially during the 1930s, when the Great Depression forced Y.M.C.A. staffing and activities to be kept to a minimum. General Secretary Reports to the Board of Directors and annual reports to the national office provide a year to year record of YMCA activities. This series also includes a number of financial records, which are strongest for the 1980s. Some correspondence concerning personnel are also included in this series.

The second series contains a diverse array of materials related to the YMCA's many local recreational activities and community services. A number of newspaper articles describe the highly successful summer camp run by the YMCA at Camp Dantzler in southern Forrest County. Numerous photographs of summer campers are included in a separate box, and some large camper award plaques are contained in an oversized box. YMCA baseball from the Friendly Indian League of the 1920s to today's popular Morning League is described in photographs as well as newspaper articles. Basketball is similarly treated. Numerous community services such as swimming lessons are also covered in newspaper articles. Many of these activities are covered in the scrapbooks of Jack Gandy, Jr., who joined the Hattiesburg YMCA staff in 1946, and retired as General Secretary in 1977.

The third series contains various records of the YMCA's capital projects, from the original building on Main Street to the current construction of the new Pine Belt Family YMCA facility on U.S. Highway 11. There are records covering construction at Camp Dantzler, although the bulk of the records concerns the 1950s construction of the current facility on 12th Avenue. There are three general areas covered by this series: land acquisition and sale, fund raising, and building construction. Materials include architects' drawings for proposed buildings at Camp Dantzler, building-fund checkbooks for the 12th Avenue facility, fund raising pledge cards, and legal documents pertaining to the selling of older property and the buying of new sites.

This collection helps to illuminate the history of Hattiesburg's principal recreational institution during the past 80 years (1913-1993). In doing so it helps to show the progress of a growing city over that time.

Related Collections:

Hattiesburg YWCA Records, M274

Photograph Log: Available.

Box and Folder List:

Box 1  
Folder 1 Overview/Survey Materials: YMCA and Community Information
Folder 2 Overview Materials YMCA and Community Infor-mation (cross reference to Box 9, Folder 1)
Folder 3 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1913-1920 (cross reference to Boxes 9 and 10)
Folder 4 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1920-1930
Folder 5 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1936, 1938, 1945-1946, 1948-1960
Folder 6 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1961-1967
Folder 7 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1968-1974
Folder 8 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1975-1984
   
Box 2  
Folder 1 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1985-1989
Folder 2 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Numbered Set, pages 12-99: 1951-1957
Folder 3 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Numbered Set, pages 100-165: 1957-1962
Folder 4 General Secretary Reports to the Board of Directors: 1947-1958
Folder 5 General Secretary Reports to the Board of Directors: 1959-1970
   
Box 3  
Folder 1 Annual Reports to National Headquarters: 1918-9 to 1923-4
Folder 2 Annual Reports to National Headquarters: 1940-1946
Folder 3 Annual Reports to National Headquarters: 1947-1954
Folder 4 Annual Reports to National Headquarters: 1955-1968
Folder 5 Correspondence with Other YMCAs and Higher Headquarters
Folder 6 Membership Reports
Folder 7 Other Administrative Documents
   
Box 4  
Folder 1 Annual Audit: 1917-1918
Folder 2 Biennial Audit: 1922-1924
Folder 3 Annual (and other periodical) Audits: 1924-44, 1950-1955, 1955
Folder 4 Annual Audits: 1959-1963
Folder 5 Annual Audits: 1964-1968
Folder 6 Annual Audits: 1969, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1983
Folder 7 Unaudited Financial Statements: 1921, 1985-1988
   
Box 5  
Folder 1 Annual Budget: 1984
Folder 2 Annual Budget: 1989
Folder 3 Daily Cash Sheets: 1987-1988
Folder 4 Daily Cash Sheets: 1989-1990
Folder 5 Monthly Closing Balances: 1987-1989
Folder 6 Monthly Financial Summary Reports: 1948-1989
Folder 7 Payroll Sheets: 1987-1990
Folder 8 Monthly and Annual Financial Statements: 1945-1978
Folder 9 Payroll Reports: 1986-1987
Folder 10 Sustaining Fund Drive: 1988
Folder 11 Tax Documents: 1937, 1939-1944, 1985, 1988
Folder 12 External Requests for YMCA Expenditures: 1987-1988
   
Box 6  
Folder 1 Employee and Board of Directors Policies, Classifications, and Missions
Folder 2 Job Descriptions for Club Occupations (1964): Preface and Part I
Folder 3 Job Descriptions for Club Occupations (1964): Parts II and III
Folder 4 Personnel Correspondence and Leave Worksheets
Folder 5 Newspaper Articles and other Items on YMCA Employees
Folder 6 Camp Dantzler and Summer Day Camp
Folder 7 Baseball
Folder 8 YMCA Basketball
Folder 9 Other Competitive Sports
Folder 10 Noncompetitive Athletics
Folder 11 Swimming Lessons
Folder 12 Tutorial Services
Folder 13 Childcare Services
Folder 14 Special Programs
Folder 15 Original YMCA Building: Construction and Opening, 1915-1917
Folder 16 Original YMCA Building: Documents Related to its Sale, 1955-1959
Folder 17 Current YMCA Building: Fundraising for Original Construction, 1957-1959
Folder 18 Current YMCA Building: Initial Fundraising (cross reference to Boxes 8 and 12)
Folder 19 Current YMCA Building: Original Construction, 1955-1959
Folder 20 Current YMCA Building: Original Construction (cross reference to Boxes 8 and 12, and Oversize Folder 2)
   
Box 7  
Folder 1 Current YMCA Building: Capital Fund Drive Documents, 1962
Folder 2 Current YMCA Building: Capital Fund Drive Pledge Cards, 1962
Folder 3 Current YMCA Building: Swimming Pool Fund Drive and Construction, 1967-1968
Folder 4 Current YMCA Building: Swimming Pool Fund Drive Pledge Cards, 1967
Folder 5 Current YMCA Building: Swimming Pool Fund Drive, 1967
Folder 6 Current YMCA Building: Later Capital Fund Drive Pledge Rosters
Folder 7 Future YMCA Building: Fundraising, 1987-1989
Folder 8 Future YMCA Building: Usage and Construction Plans
Folder 9 Camp Dantzler: Proposed Sale and Boundary Settlement, 1969, 1987
Folder 10 Camp Dantzler: Proposed Construction
   
Box 8  
Folder 1 Photos: Camp Dantzler (small)
Folder 2 Photos: Camp Dantzler (large)
Folder 3 Photos: Baseball
Folder 4 Photos: Basketball (pre 1947)
Folder 5 Photos: Basketball (post 1947)
Folder 6 Photos: Various Competitive Athletics
Folder 7 Photos: Noncompetitive Athletics
Folder 8 Photos: Special Programs
Folder 9 Photos: Capital Projects, Fundraising and Construction
Folder 10 Photos: Miscellaneous Subjects
   
Box 9  
Folder 1 Overview Materials
Folder 2 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1920-1924
   
Box 10  
Bound volume of Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: 1925-1930
   
Box 11  
Folder 1 Annual Reports to National Headquarters, 1918-1919 to 1923-24
Folder 2 Biennial Audit, 1922-1924
   
Box 12  
2 Bound volumes of General Secretary's Scrapbooks, 1957-1976
   
Box 13  
Item 1 Plaque: Camp Dantzler, Third Place, Inspection
Item 2 Plaque: Mississippi YMCA Men's Championship with plates for 1941 and 1942
Item 3 Plaque: 1958-1959 Jr. Church League Basketball (McLaurin Baptist Church)
   
Box 14  
Item 1 Plaque: 1949-1950 Jr. Church League Basketball (Main St. Baptist Church)
Item 2 Plaque: 1925-1926 Sunday School Basketball League Champions (Broad St. M. E.)
Item 3 Plaque: 1921-1922 Sunday School Basketball League Winners (Court St. M. E.)
   
Box 15  
Item 1 Plaque: 1925 Camp Dantzler Honor Campers
Item 2 Plaque: Winter 1940 Mississippi YMCA Junior Athletics Championships (Hattiesburg)
Item 3 Plaque: 1939 Friendly Indian Baseball League Champions (Bows and Arrows)
Item 4 Plaque: 1940 Friendly Indian Baseball League Champions (Seminoles)
   
Oversize Folder 1 - See Map Case
Item 1 Photo: Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina
Item 2 Photo: group photo, Blue Ridge, North Carolina, 1944
Item 3 Photo: unidentified formal dinner
Item 4 Photo: Southern Summer School, Blue Ridge, North Carolina, 1928
Item 5 Photo: large group panorama, Blue Ridge, North Carolina, July 1944
Item 6 Photo: Southern Conference of Human Relations in Industry, July 17-19,1941
Item 7 Photo: Plant of the Lathrop-Hatten Lumber Co., Riverside, Alabama, May 6, 1909
   
Oversize Folder 2 - See Map Case
Item 1 Architectural Plan: 12th Avenue YMCA Building Proposed Floor Plan, January 7, 1958
Item 2 Architectural Drawing: Proposed Pavilion for Camp Dantzler, March 2, 1945
Item 3 same as Item 2
Item 4 Architectural Plan: proposed plan for 12th Avenue YMCA Building (sideview)
Item 5 Architectural Plan: proposed plan for 12th Avenue YMCA Building (sideview)
Item 6 Architectural Plan: Dining Hall for Camp Dantzler Proposed Floor Plan
Item 7 Architectural Blueprint: Plan for a large icebox
Item 8 same as Item 7
Item 9 Architectural Plan: Plan for a Proposed Latrine at Camp Dantzler
Item 10 Architectural Drawing: Outside view of 12th Avenue YMCA Building, 1958
Item 11 Architectural Plan: YMCA Swimming Pool, March 1967
Item 12 Architectural Plan: YMCA Swimming Pool, March 1967
Item 13 Architectural Plan: YMCA Swimming Pool, March 1967
Item 14 Architectural Plan: Cabin for Camp Dantzler
Item 15 Architectural Plan: Cabin for Camp Dantzler
Item 16 Architectural Plan: Camp Dantzler Site Plan, November 1969


Accession Number: AM 2000-113

Dates: ca. 1920s, ca. 1940s

Volume: ca. 50 cubic feet

Provenance: Donated by Dr. Michael Gandy.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

The accession comprises:

  1. 6"x3' wooden plank sign from a cabin at Camp Dantzler. The sign, which dates from the 1940s, reads "Victor M. Scanlan & Wife Katherine Selby Scanlan". It was salvaged after Hurricane Camille destroyed the cabin in 1969.
  2. Liberty Pipetone Folding Organ used in religious services conducted by the YMCA during the 1920s. Services were held at local lumber companies, such as the J. J. Newman Lumber Company in Hattiesburg.



Accession Number:
AM 2000-118

Dates: 1998-2000

Volume: 1 item

Provenance: Donated by Mr. Van Lowry.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Scrapbook of newspaper clippings documenting the activities of the Pine Belt Family YMCA.


Accession Number: AM 2001-42

Dates: 2001

Volume: 3 items

Provenance: Donated by Mr. Van Lowry.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Three items pertaining to the 2001 YMCA Camp Dantzler Reunion:

  1. A two-color flyer with the motto "To Your Own Self Be True"
  2. A four-page description of reunion activities
  3. A copy of a Camp Dantzler Quiz administered to reunion participants

Accession Number: AM 2001-49

Dates: ca. 1950s-1960s

Volume: 3 items

Provenance: Donated by Mr. Van Lowry.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

Three items pertaining to Camp Dantzler:

  1. Van Lowry's YMCA Camp Dantzler Store card on which his purchases are recorded (1950).
  2. Van Lowry's gold and blue Camp Dantzler t-shirt (ca. 1950-1963).
  3. Van Lowry's green and white Camp Dantzler hat (ca.1950-1963).

Accession Number: AM 2001-54

Dates: ca. 1960s, 2000

Volume: 3 items

Provenance: Donated by Mr. Van Lowry.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

This accession includes:

  1. One Camp Dantzler tee-shirt (red, with white lettering - ca. 1960s).
  2. One Camp Dantzler tee-shirt (gold, with blue lettering - ca. 1960s).
  3. Pine Belt Family Y Board of Directors Minutes (2000).

Accession Number: AM 2001-59

Dates: ca. 1950s

Volume: 3 items

Provenance: Donated by Mr. Van Lowry.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Form of Material:

This accession includes:

  1. One-page letter to Van Lowry from Jack Gandy (April 22, 1959).
  2. Camp Dantzler baseball cap (red).
  3. Camp Dantzler hat (green & white).


Created by: Bobs M. Tusa
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Revised: December 20, 2004