The Souvenir of Western Women/The Young Women's Christian Association

The Young Women's Christian Association


President of the Y. W. C. A. of Portland

THE Young Women's Christian Association began its work at the capital, Salem, and worked among the colleges for several years. Finding their scope would be greater they moved to Portland. At this time Mrs. C. A. Dolph took up the work as president. The whole of the Northwest was under her supervision, and it was a time of hard work and earnest prayer, but without coming much before the public.

The first city association was organized in Portland at the close of the year 1900, and moved into nice rooms in the Maeleay building April 1, 1901. The growth was phenomenal, and in two years larger rooms were secured at 312 Oak street. The membership, beginning with 700, arose to over 1,400. The delightful rooms were filled all the time. The dining room, where real home-cooked lunches are served, is chiefly patronized by business women, but women of leisure always find it a pleasant place to lunch and meet their friends. The walls are decorated with beautiful reproductions of the old masters. No other association in the world owns such a fine collection, both from a decorative and an educational point of view. This was the generous gift of one woman. The educational work has been very helpful. Aggressive work is being done along the lines of Bible study, domestic science and domestic art. Other classes also have been greatly enjoyed.

The Seattle association was organized at the same time as the one in Portland, and has been quite as successful and popular in its work and development. They have just moved into a commodious and attractive new building. An association has also been organized in Spokane, which is doing very good work. The college work has grown and is now under the supervision of special committees, the Washington committee taking Montana and the Oregon committee taking Idaho.

The outlook for the Young Women's Christian Association work in the Northwest is very bright, and it is hoped that the Northwest conference, which will be held at Gearhart, Oregon, in September, will be a great inspiration for all the workers.

The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition will also bring young women from all over the country, and the Portland city association is building very attractive headquarters, where they will serve lunches all summer. They have the only woman's building on the grounds. From the wide verandas a beautiful view of the grounds, the lake and trail can be seen.

The Young Women's Christian Association is among the foremost of the organized bodies of women now earnestly laboring together in behalf of the Portland Travelers' Aid Association.