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185 Ream St. NW
North Canton, OH 44720

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Community Building – YMCA

History Here

The Community Building was a large two-story structure with many paned windows, equipped with everyone in mind.  It had meeting rooms, four large fireplaces, a large kitchen, an auditorium (which doubled as a gym) with a projection room and balcony on three sides and large stage, locker rooms for men and women, small bowling alley, pool tables, and two spacious lobbies for casual meetings or reading.

The bowling alley was located in the basement.
The entrance to the Community Building was attractive.
This was the Ladies’ Sitting Room as pictured in the Community Building in the early 1930’s. This room was formerly the location of the North Canton Library.

Historical Figures

Charles Williams— “Charlie” was the second Executive Director of the Community Building. He was an institution within an institution. Poet, entertainer, after-dinner speaker, disciplinarian, jokester, but most of all—a friend. He was one of those rare individuals about whom it would have been said, “They threw away the mold when they made Charlie.” He served the Community Building for 26 years.

Iona Greckler — She joined the Community Building staff in 1930 and was the office manager, booking agent for the club rooms, and if needed, would help in the kitchen. She could also blow a mean whistle when substituting as gym teacher, not to mention the keeping the lobbies calm and in order. “Geck” served the Community Building for 41 years.

Francis Seederly — “Seeds” came to the Community Building in 1936 and was the Women’s and Girl’s Director. As the Director, she was the overseer of many tea parties, luncheons, hayrides, slumber parties, camping trips, gym classes, as well as counselor for girl’s organizations such as Prep Friendship and Girl Reserves. No one had more influence over so many young girl’s lives, besides their mothers, as did Miss Seederly.

“Charlie”, “Geck”, and “Seeds” were what Mr. Hoover had in mind when he gave the Community Building—leaders who would give of themselves to make the citizens of North Canton happy and proud.

Heritage Trail Sponsors:
Herbert W. Hoover Foundation
North Canton Public Library
Gary & Rita Wechter Family