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Worcester,Mass - Places of the Past, The Lincoln Square Boys Club
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Pete Taylor - Report this comment
I remember going there in the 50's and playing "snaps". It was a game like marbles but was played on a board and you used little round "snaps" that looked like napkin rings and you snaped them with your thumb and index finger. The Flag pole and monument were stll there then as was the rotary. The flag in Lincoln Square was one of only a few in the country authorized to fly 24 hrs a day.
Matthew Kacavich - Report this comment
The Lincoln Square Boy's Club has been incorporated into the campus of Worcester Vocational High School. It is known as 'Building A', and is currently the home of the Early Childhood and Health Assistant trades.
Bob Cutroni - Report this comment
I remember going to the boys club in the 40's. Yes we played snaps then also.So of my best times were at the club. They had a wood working shop swimming in the pool movies for 5 cents.there were bus trips from there to other places. A gym we played soft ball. I remember the gye teaches name Brownie. I was born in Worcester in 1939.That club was a great place to go. They also had a girls club up the street on Lincoln St. I lived on Keefe Place but is not there anymore.Living in new york now I miss Worcester but I guess it just isn't the same anymore
charlie flood - Report this comment
Fond memories of the Lincoln Sq Boys Club... We lived in Westboro, still a pretty small town in the late 60's with no such thing as an indoor pool. So all the boys in our neighborhood learned to swim at the Boys Club. One of the dads' would drive us all in, if Mr. Winchell drove we would always ask for the story of how he learned to swim by being thrown into Lk Quinsigmond when he was 2yrs old. This was told as we crossed the Lk on Rt 9, just as we would enter 'the big city'! Anyway, going to the Boys Club was great. So politically incorrect by today's obnoxious standards. No girls allowed- all boys swam naked and the instructors weren't afraid of disiplining misbehaving kids. Afterwards we'd go upstairs for penny candy- bulls eyes and root beer barrels. I can still see them in the glass case and taste them 30-some years later.
Lee Kauppila - Report this comment
I lived on Belmont Hill and spent many childhood days at the Boys' Club. I even worked there during my high school years. On a rainy Saturday, well over 1000, maybe 2000 kids would pack into the club for swimming, basketball in the gym, library, game room. The game room, in addition to the "snaps" game mentioned previously, had shuffleboard, ping pong, table hockey, building blocks, checkers, chess, all checked out using your "club ticket". There were also movies, 5 cents, on Saturdays, and in later years, roller skating in the movie auditorium. This same auditorium hosted dances on Saturday nights, occasionally with a live band. At 14 years of age, you were able to go to the "Senior Room" on the top floor which had 4 full-size pool tables, at 10 cents per hour, 2 ping pong tables and a card room which had card tables hosting Kitty Whist games constantly and a color TV. I hung out there, especially on Saturday dance night, when the neighborhood girls would also be there. It was a lively place, filling a real need in the community. I and my circle of friends were well-served by the club. While we went there for recreation, it was also a place to escape troubled homes and a point of contact for various community services. Local college students would come as volunteer tutors. You know, I could go on for pages, but let me just end by saying I was sad to hear of its closing.
Dan Granfors - Report this comment
Going to the "Club" was a Saturday morning ritual for my circle also. We kept our club tickets on a brown shoestring around our necks, and just the walk down Belmont Street from Eastern Ave to the club was an adventure. The musty, mildewey smell that always seemed to linger in the foyer was confirmation that one had arrived.
Roger Martell - Report this comment
I used to be at the boys club from after school till closeing :-) On weekends if they didn't have the roller derby or Wrestling in the auditorium we be back at the boys club. And right down the road on Main street when Central street used to run right acroos to summer street. There as I thnk the E.M Lowes, down stairs there was a bowling alley were with $0.50 we could spend most of the day. I stll have my Old Boys Club card with the Shoe string to go around the neck. Snaps was my favoraite game hahaha. Come home with a cold towel around my finger It was worth it.
Les (nick Name) Dick Hason - Report this comment
Was a member of the boys club from 1937 till 1942,many memorys,went swimming mostly every time there.lived up on kendall st,some of my friends Bob Cox,Clifford Cox,Paul Donahue.
Don Wayman - Report this comment
I remember the basketball tournaments of the late 40's when the Webster Shamrocks from St. Louis High School showed the Worcester guys how the game of basketball is played. Don Coyle , Ernie Ducharme, Len Nowicki, Jackie Lonergan, etc.
Chuck Hintlian - Report this comment
In the late 40's, Mom worked at Telechron on Foster Street, and when Dad was on the day shift at American Steel and Wire, the Boys Club was our after school baby sitter. We would take the Shortline Bus from Holden. I think the fare was either six or twelve cents, and would stay at the Club until the folks got off work and picked us up. We swam, played snaps, pool, used the library, ran the indoor track, and explored some of the "secret areas" the club. I also remember sitting in the oval watching the train activity in the square.
I belonged to th WBC in later 40s & early 50s! The YMCA was a bit ritzy as I remember. It was the swimming pool we really wanted to use. My dad & I won a WBC contest abt baseball. 1st & 2nd place got to go to a Redsox game , box seats & meet famous players. We won 1st place with my dad's predictions & my essay on Stan Museul.(sp?) We were supposed to meet Ted Williams, but he had just broken his arm! We met Don Dimagio, Birdy Tebbits ( most harry arms I had ever seen as a kid!). I still have autographs . The newsclipping is posted on our Grafton History site I think. Dick almost GHS57 & STHS57 in Spfld in MD for last 25 yrs!
Richard Card - Report this comment
My family moved alot for KendalL St., Dayton Place, to Greenhill Parkway but the one constant thing was the Boys Club - you kept your friends no matter were you moved to. I was the Games Room Champ for the months - which gave you bragging rights and the right to play any game first in the games room. I was a summer camp counselor -a join effort with the Girls club - met my first summer love there. On a saturday the was the movies for .10 you saw a movie and a cartoon but had to get there early as the seating was limited - eventually they added a second matinee. And to get and SS on your membership card - boy that was something or to be old enough to go into the seniors room on the third floor - and go from a brown card to grey well that was just the cat's meow. The last time I was there was in 1972 (October 28th to exact) as I went into the Navy the next day to say goodbye to all the friends I had made since going there since 1961. I certainly do miss this piece of Worcester history and all the good times had there.
First of all, EXCELLENT site. Born in Worcester in the 50's I spent a tremendous amount of time at the Lincoln Square Boys Club and as a result learned so many skills that I still implement today. The club was an exciting place to visit, learn and socialize and was a place that I always felt safe at. My one diappointment is that my son will never experience the benefits of such a great place.
I loved this place - was there everynight. I was a games room champ for 3 months (big honor at the time) My "date" and I won the Valentine's Day Honor, I also was Honored as the Boys Club Memeber of the Month. I ran track at Burncoat High and I trained in the uper part of the gym - it had a small oval track that I would run 100 laps a night. The swimming instructor there (Richard LaHair) just passed away this Thanksgiving(2003) from a car accident - he was such a nice guy.
Domenic Belsito - Report this comment
We lived on Natick St off of Belmount, we had 4 boys in our family,my cousins had 4 boys in theres add another 2 to 4 cousins and we all went to the boys club packed with our peanut and jelly sandwiches,the snaps, checkers, ping pong, swimming,gym, hobby shop,plus the staff made it the best place to go on saturdays. At the end of the day 8:00 to 4:30 we would laod up into 2 station wagons and off we go. Thanks to the Boys Club
Will Marengo - Report this comment
It's a beautiful building. BUT ....we always thought Lincoln Sq. Boys' club sucked ... IONICS AVE BOYS' CLUB RULES! Former member of IABC of the 60's and 70's.
The Ionic Ave Boys Club is still active (as the Boys & Girls Club), and will continue serving kids for three more weeks. On August 1, 2006 it will be closed, and we will be moving to a brand new facility built at 65 Tainter St (the site of the old Rice Barton factory)!!! We held a 'farewell party' for Alumni in June, sorry you didn't have the opportunity to take a last look! We pulled out old photos, scrapbooks, plaques, and trophies to provide one last memory of 90 years of kids. You can find information on our website (http://www.bgcworcester.org); our move was also the cover story of this week's Worcester Magazine (http://www.worcestermag.com/archives/2006/07-06-06/index.html)! -Bob
My dad was a Boys Club member in the early 1930s. I don't know if that would have been this Boys Club or another one? He always lived in the Main Street areas that were the Albanian immigrant enclaves (near Southbridge St and Belmont St and so on), so he may have belonged to one of the other clubs. He made it sound like the Boys Club was a more important part of his life than his school was.
Fred Forrett - Report this comment
I went to the Lincoln Square Boys Club in the 70's. This made up the happiest memories of my childhood. There were all the activities mentioned above including a Model making room, Library etc... I learned to swim here. There were differnt levels of swimming. i.e. Tadpoles, swordfish etc...
gary ljungquist - Report this comment
I lived right at Lincoln Square in the 40's and 50's. Mention of the membership cards brings back memories of the weekly movies( and wild crowds) and of excruciating gym classes North High held there. I tutored there while a student at Clark. The Boys' Clun fulfilled an important function in the run-down neigborhood.
Rob Freeburn - Report this comment
I was a regular at the Lincoln Square Boys Club 1961-1967 (during my grammar school years). I think all of my school friends were members for one or more years: Mark Shea, Larry Burtchell, Danny Michaud, Johnny Murphy, Jeff Crowley, Peter Kelleher, Ricky Koontz, and Richard Shattuck. Your swimming ability determined your social rank. It seemed like a thousand steps from the locker room down to the swimming pool shower room. Dick LaHair taught thousands of boys to swim with incessant bobbing drills and by throwing coins in the water for boys to retrieve and keep. I have not forgotten tool safety rules I learned in the wood shop making spice racks 45 years ago. To this day, I cannot eat red licorice, because I once purchased a dollar of Boys Club red licorice and got sick eating it all. Sometimes my Dad picked me up in front of the Boys Club on his way home from work, but I lived only a mile away and preferred to walk home along Highland Street or Institute Road. I attended summer day camp (“POPS”) the year the program started (1962?) when there were only four small groups of boys. The summer program was popular and quickly caught on and grew. The summer program included occasional overnight sleepovers with hundreds of us trying to be quiet in the gym. The Boys Club had access to property on Sunderland Road and bussed us there in the summer for half-days playing softball and building forts. During bus rides we sang “I’m Henry the Eighth” and “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”
hank- October 11, 2008 - Report this comment
the boys club taught more then east kendall st school we lived there all summer in the 50s
David Cicio- December 04, 2008 - Report this comment
I attended the Lincoln Square Boys Club in the mid 1940's for about 10 years. I remember many of the items previously listed. Bob Cutroni who also has posted here was my best friend and neighbor. I recall Mr. Eddie Rylander who was the Club Director, Mr. "Nugy" Galena who acted as an arbitrator and Sergeant-at-Arms. Mr. Cary Noel taught swimming at that time. Many colorful and happy memories from those days.
Clay Gleason- April 28, 2009 - Report this comment
I remember Lincoln Square Boys Club well.The Wally brothers were always there.I remember playing snaps and darts,The swimming pool.Our tickets had to be stamped b for beginner,S for Swimmer and AS for advanced swimmer.I use to run lapd on the oval above the basketball court.Go to the movies and just sit around with friends.I remember Browniand Lee the key guy in the locker roomI spent a lot of time there in the 50's.Also across the street was the Auditorium where i use to go to the Charity Circus every year.Worcester had so much for everyone.So many great memories fro that city.I'm now in a small town in the Blue ridge Mountains of Virginia but will never forget my roots.breeze33776@yahoo.com
Don Latino- July 19, 2009 - Report this comment
The caption on the photo of the boys club submitted by Jim Sadowski is incorrect. This photo shows the boys club on Ionic Avenue, which I attended c1964. The church is the First Baptist Church which stood on the corner of Main and Mower Streets. The church was destroyed by fire sometime in the 1920's or 30's. The street name was changed from Mower to Ionic, supposedly because of the beautiful Ionic columns on the Masonic Temple which still stands opposite the old boys club building.
Tim Pellegrino- August 20, 2009 - Report this comment
I was a member of Ionic Ave Boys Club boxing under Mario Sauro for years. We sometimes had to go train and spare with the guys at Lincoln Sq. WOW such great memories there. Then when I was going to Boys Trade we used to trot over to use the Olympic sized swimming pool for Phys Ed. Not fun in winter... burrrr
Brian Hayes- September 18, 2009 - Report this comment
Correct me if I'm wrong but the first picture looks more like Ionic Ave boys club than Lincoln Square.
Gene LeClair- October 08, 2009 - Report this comment
Yes, you are right that pic is Ionic and not Linoln
Pete Kronberg- November 13, 2009 - Report this comment
I am now 50 years old, but still have vivid dreams about times at Lincoln Square Boys Club, which I attended for about 4 years, from age 8 to 12 (late 60's early 70's). We lived in Greendale, near Indian Lake, and I would always walk all the way down there, by myself. I remember Mr. Cole; he was a member of my church- Wesley Methodist. I remember other odd things- that big punch-wheel mechanism for stamping tickets (what WERE they made out of anyway?) Collecting all my swim pins...what a proud day to finally make BCA!! I remember the 'little gym', and running around on the banked track above the 'big gym'. I spent lots of time upstairs in the library...playing vinyl records from the collection on hand (the 5th Dimension- Age of Aquarius). On winter vacation, the Club had special programs to keep bored kids from getting into trouble- a feature film upstairs (Robinson Crusoe on Mars, and other such riveting titles for us itchy, precocious boys). I remember nude swimming, too. How ODD that was! Not something that would be encouraged nowadays, that's for sure! I think my mother still has an article cut from the Telegram & Gazette years ago...when the day camp up on Sunderland road got a new water supply activated, and we had sprinkler fun- a photo of a bunch of us grubby daycampers was also w/ that article. I remember winning a model-building contest, one year, with my entry proudly displayed in the display case opposite the snack bar... Yeah, that place sure kept me out of trouble. I haven't lived in Worcester for more than 30 years now, but my folks still live in Greendale, and I come back for visits often...and always see and remember good times at the Boy's Club; driving past Lincoln Square on our way down to church at Wesley.
Ed Grautski- May 19, 2010 - Report this comment
I was at St. Annes Orphanage from '55 through '59 and remember us boys being loaded into an old panel truck and brought to the Boys Club, alternating between the Ionic Ave and Lincoln Square clubs. If I remember correctly, Ionic Ave. ruled.
Gerry Card- July 05, 2010 - Report this comment
Hey Rick (my Brother).I had my fun at the Bou's club durring the late 60's and early 70's. Remember the Edmund clan and Jackie Morris Duane Brown Donny Kimball. Yes the snaps champ was champ for 2 mos gave us bragging rights galore. I used to go up to the Senior Room and piss off the older guys. I remember when the Associations had a concert there. Yeppers too bad the city can't ut it back to use. The pool is still there and all the Gym stuff give worcester older youth a place to chill and have good time. Well that's City of Worcester for you all for the Political Side nothing for the Humane side. I miss working with Dick daley in repairs running with Barny Sawyer (now passed) Billy Rigney Pinky , Phil Dupont Dennis Holland (preacher now has his own Church). There was the Camp out in Sturbridge I think it was...???? Mr. dean used to run the gym up there and make us run laps if we were not good as we should be..lol Well Memories had Memories gone it was a nice place to hang your hat and have some fun. By the way the old Cards were made of a Clay based Cardboard. (For your info Pete K.)
Gerry Card- July 05, 2010 - Report this comment
The First picture above is Ionic Ave Boys Club the next 2 are the Lincoln Street Boys Club. I like the 3rd Picture because of the reality of the Rotary in the middle as I remember it in the 60's .. Much nicer and scenic Boys Club
Jamie Bundtzen- November 12, 2010 - Report this comment
Hi everyone - I currently work for the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester and would LOVE to get your current emails/mailing addresses so we can keep you up-to-date on all the Club events, especially those for our alumni. We actually have our 11th annual Alumni Hall of Fame reception and awards ceremony next weekend. I can be reached at (508) 754-2686 x106 or jbundtzen@bgcworcester.org. Looking forward to hearing from you all :)
Joe Pellegrino- October 19, 2011 - Report this comment
Wow I remember walking to the bus stop at Hamilton st and Boston ave.Taking the bus to city hall in worcester.Then getting a transfer to lincoln square. Spend the whole day at the boys club.Loved the pool and hobbie shop the most.
Frank Peters- March 04, 2012 - Report this comment
The Lincoln square boys club was the place to go after school that kept a lot of us out of trouble. This is where I learned how to play basketball, pool, and ping pong very well. I remember milk and cookies at the same time everyday over the loud speaker. That's when you saw basketball bouncing but not a soul in the Gym due to all the kids running downstairs to get in line. I miss this place and not sure why they closed it down,made no sense to me at all. They should revisit the Idea of opening this or something like this up. Too many kids either playing video games, on facebook or twitter. I never see a soul at parks anymore because of all the technology we have nowadays, pretty sad. I do not know how I stumbled on this page but glad I did to bring back old fond memories of the best place to go in Worcester as teenager.
Kevin B- August 22, 2012 - Report this comment
I went to the Lincoln Sq boys club in the late 70's. At that time, it was already on the decline with attendance, kind of a ghost town actually. They had bumper pool tables and regular pool tables and ping pong. But, the boys club ran a summer camp out in sterling called Camp Washekum and I went there for like 5 years. It was a good camp program.
Shawn Garrity- November 19, 2012 - Report this comment
I remember playing some amazing BBall games there against the Hampton (Larry/Bo) Brothers, with Dwayne McLain and others. My Father Hank Garrity also about grew up there in the 40's-50's and had endless fond memories. I'd say many lives were defined and maybe saved by the amazing people who volunteered over the decades!!
Grace Zingarelli- December 14, 2012 - Report this comment
During the early 1960's, I was a member of the Saturday Night teen club at the Lincoln Square Boys Club. There was dancing, swimming and the game room. It was an awesome place to hang out and have some good,clean fun. I can remember participating in a Twist contest. And, I was one of the winners. Does anyone have any photos of that era? Also, does anyone remember the basketball team? Think it they were called, " The Court Jesters"
Bill Blair- January 03, 2013 - Report this comment
Reading Dave Cicio's name brought back many fond memories of my time at the club which I joined in 1947. I remember Mr. Rylander and Nugy Galena and Brownie Liberty. Thursday nite movies were six cents. Good Times!! Dave, if you ever read this ,remember Troop 85..I think Paul Bastardi is still alive.
Fred Wyman- May 25, 2013 - Report this comment
The Boys Club sponsored a summer camp which I attended several years for a week. Great fun and good experience getting out in nature as well as the regiment of living in a cabin with people who were family only by being Boys Club members. Also, I remember Mr. Spittle in the wood working shop. The skills he taught I still use 55 years later.
Alan Edwards- July 16, 2015 - Report this comment
Hello all, fascinating stories for sure! Going through family belongings recently I came across a small medal/medallion. It's brass and dated 1937 with a red center ring and a jumping boy. Worcester Boys Club. Can someone help explain the history? Thanks a lot Alan
John Kneeland, Oxford Ma- October 25, 2015 - Report this comment
Does anyone have any old photos of the Boys Club Camp in Sterling? I believe is was called Camp Washekum. It's gone now but I have such great memories of my summers there. All the bug juice you could drink, good meals, good friends, fun swimming, and camping out in the woods across the railroad tracks. I wish I could go back and tell all the counselors how much those years meant to me and to hundreds of other kids back then.
Ray Parker- September 13, 2016 - Report this comment
Spent many days at Lincoln Sq BC in late 50's lived on Gillman St and Orne St at that time. Friends were Art Brothers Robert and Frankie Zacarro. My mother got me a donated week at BC camp one summer. In the country was scared and had nightmares for the first night. Was a great part of my childhood. Thank you Worcester !
John Cox- May 24, 2017 - Report this comment
I was a member of Lincoln Square Boy's Club from the mid50's until the early 60's and have many fond memories. Playing snaps, learning to swim sans bathing suits, movies and wiener roasts in the gym, building balsa wood airplanes and attemtping to learn to box ( got knocked on my bum more than once). Many other activities. I lived on Lee St., on the other side of Park Ave and had to walk the Length of Institute Road down and back to get to the club. My mother usually met me halfway. I recall watching the movie "The Thing" one night and was quite apprehensive on my way home. I'll always remember the "Bulls Eyes" candy they sold at the counter, they seemed to melt in my mouth. It's sad to see the old building deteriorate.

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