Our History


Historical Perspective

Originally, the Perth Amboy YMCA, now known as the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA, was founded on September 15, 1867.  The RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA organization was officially chartered by the State of New Jersey in 1912.  In 1913, funds were raised to construct a four story YMCA building at 182 Jefferson Street.  This state of the art facility had a swimming pool, a fitness center, and meeting rooms and was coupled with a male rooming house. This very common style YMCA served Perth Amboy and neighboring communities well through a variety of programs and services.

As times changed, in addition to the Jefferson Street facility, the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA operated the Delaney Recreation Center for nearly 20 years in Perth Amboy.  While the main facilities and programs were located in Perth Amboy, the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA operated the innovative and very popular Swim Mobile program in Woodbridge and Carteret communities, along with other programs for teens and young children.  In Sayreville, the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA operated an extensive recreational/aquatic facility that was closed when the property was sold in the early 1990’s.

In 1997, a tragic fire became the catalyst for change at the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA.  For nearly 10 years, strategic partnerships with the Perth Amboy Board of Education and the Housing Authority of the City of Perth Amboy have assisted the YMCA in providing great services.  For the past several years, the YMCA has maintained a positive presence in the community.

Judge Adrian Lyon Inducted into the National YMCA Hall of Fame.
The first Volunteer Chairman of the Perth Amboy YMCA Board of Directors.

The induction ceremony took place at the YMCA General Assembly on July 17th, 2016, in Kansas City. Subsequently, a plaque will be placed in the YMCA Hall of Fame, located on the campus of Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Judge Lyon’s contributions to the national YMCA movement was recognized; such contributions included fundraising during the depression and efforts to engage students in meaningful and purposeful ways.

From 1912 to 1950, Lyon served as the President of the Perth Amboy YMCA, now known as the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA. During this time, Lyon also served as President of the New Jersey State Convention, Chairman of Commission on Convention Representation and Rules, Chairman of the General Board of the National Council for 10 years, and judge in the U.S. district bankruptcy court.

Adrian Lyon dedicated more than forty five years of his life to the betterment of Perth Amboy and the YMCA movement. He was also active in organizational procedures leading to the establishment of the national council in 1924.