The Jenkins, Kentucky YMCA of 1912

The Jenkins, Kentucky YMCA of 1912

Written by Joanna Adams Sergent

Consolidation Coal Company from the beginning of its operations expressed a determination to open a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). There was a strong enthusiasm for the young men of the Jenkins, Kentucky area to have a place where they could relax and spend their leisure hours in 1912. Such was the anticipation for the YMCA that the people in the town were unwilling to wait until a building could be completed in the heart of Jenkins.

A large temporary structure was set up for the site for the Association in December of 1911. During the evening hours, the building had large numbers of men in attendance. The location, with its central attractions, all the amusement features, and varied privileges made the YMCA desirable to have in the town.

Picture of the Young Men’s Christian Association Building of 1912 as found in the Mountain Eagle


There are many features that the YMCA offers to the men of the area. For personal hygiene and care including a well-equipped bathroom with hot and cold water. There is a barbershop available that offers first-class service. Bowling alleys and a billiard room helped to provide entertainment.

For educational resources, the Young Men’s Christian Association provides a very spacious auditorium for Sunday School and other religious services that will be held. Every Sunday morning and evening the YMCA hosts various denominations for regular services. This is done by arrangement with the representatives of the local churches.

On weekdays, the auditorium provides ample room for moving picture entertainment and stereopticon (slide projector), lectures, and is filled.

With the advent of the railroad, the YMCA hopes to arrange for a series of lyceum entertainments of educational value. Lyceum entertainments can include but are not limited to dramatic performances, class instruction, debates, noted lecturers, entertainers, and readers to encourage the moral fabric of society.

A soda fountain that serves both soft drinks and ice cream is provided in the building. This soda fountain is suitable to serve large numbers of people daily.

The New YMCA building was built by the Consolidation Coal Company. Picture found in the Smithsonian collections and is in the public domain


While not for entertainment only, the building also provides for services in which it is intended. With the building being only six months old, the YMCA holds two evening classes. One class is for the mine supervisors for their state examinations. There are twelve classes held before the exam which will be held in March of 1913.

The other class that will be held is for the non-English speaking workers who wish to learn the language. The class is held twice a week in the building for all who have a desire to learn how to speak the English Language.

Inside view of the YMCA in Jenkins, Kentucky. The Photograph was found in the Smithsonian Collection

Coming Features

To keep up with current events, a broad range of diverse magazines and newspapers are available and on sale at the counter for reasonable prices. Before too long, a circulating library will be installed that will provide books to the men.

With an enormous range of useful services to the community of Jenkins, Kentucky, the YMCA wishes to continue serving the area as the need arises.

This concludes the article on the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Building of 1912.

Thank You

We thank you for continuing to support Kentucky Tennessee Living as we bring to you the history of the Appalachian Mountains. It is with a deep appreciation and gratitude that we wish to thank all of those who have stuck with us and encouraged us through the very hard times.

For More Information on the Topic

The photos were taken from the Mountain Eagle Publication 1912 which is under the Public Domain because it was published before 1923. We use these photos in good faith under the fair use act as well as for educational purposes.

The Mountain Eagle Newspaper publication
June 6, 1912

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When we forget our past and who we are as a people, then we become who “they” say we are. ~~ David Sergent

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