From its conceptual origins in the 1920s and the formal establishment of the Forrest Neighborhood House in the 1930s, the LeMoyne Community Center enjoys a truly extraordinary history. It is a story of compassion and devotion – in service of the goals of inspiring our youth, strengthening family life, and developing better neighborhoods.
by the Washington County Historical Society
The site of our present facility was a portion of land owned by local carriage maker Robert R. Forrest. Mr. Forrest was very progressive for his time and opened his property for the benefit and usage of the local children living in the area. Later in life, he would begin to distribute gift bags filled with cookies, candies, and fruits to all local children on Christmas Day. Mr. Forrest continued this practice over a 50 year period until his death. His family reported that in his final years he would prepare, with their help, over 400 bags. No child who came to his give away was ever turned away regardless of their age.
In the 1920’s, Reuben W. Wasler, Jr , who was one of Washington County’s first police officers of color, began gathering children for recreation and classes in the Wright Memorial Church.
1930 saw the birth of the Neighborhood House Association, which was formed by the local Daughters of Current Events Club. The association modeled their programs after the settlement houses founded in London, England, and which later spread to the United States to serve those affected by the poverty and over-crowding in industrialized cities.
I939 saw the formation of the First Community Council and an interracial Board was selected. This council, under the administration of the Neighborhood House Association, would guide the center and its programs until 1970.
“MY HUMANITY IS BOUND UP IN YOURS, FOR WE CAN ONLY BE HUMAN TOGETHER.”
The Lemoyne Community Center is developing, shaping, defining, and stabilizing our community with education, arts, health, and recreational programs.