As we continue celebrating 25 years of strengthening and transforming White County, our #LoveWhereYouLive Challenge carries on. And at the Community Foundation of White County, this week we celebrate our beautiful home, the Calvert Community Youth Center.
If you haven’t made the visit to the Foundation’s office, you may not realize the awesome history behind our building. At the five points corner of the Monticello Christian Church, Monticello City Park, and the Main Street Station, you’ll find our little yellow building nestled into the corner of the intersection. Built in 1949, the building originally stood as The Hickory House Restaurant featuring knotty pine walls, a brick enclosed barbeque pit, and “beautiful views of Lake Freeman.” Still today in the entryway, we have an original table with chairs from the restaurant, and if you stand in our copy room long enough (the old firepit), you can still faintly smell smoked meat.
In 1954, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Calvert established the Community Youth Center, Inc., the purpose of which “shall be to advance the civic, social, and moral welfare of youth living in Monticello, Indiana and in the territory tributary thereto by providing wholesome and constructive recreational opportunities and this important project for the benefit of the youth of the community.”
The Calvert Community Youth Center served the community for many years as the place to go after every sporting event. Additionally, local groups held their sock hop dances at the center, schools clubs utilized the space, as well as other youth serving organizations, building a community-wide gathering spot for local teens.
Folks who now visit the Foundation office often reminisce with stories of the 8 tracks and vinyls set up on the kitchen countertop and the pool tables in the basement, or of girls lined up along one side of the room with young boys on the other, waiting to break the ice to dance. If our walls could talk, I’m sure we would hear many stories of young love and heartbreak.
In 1998, the Calvert family donated the building to the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette to establish the newly formed Community Foundation of White County. The building has since been redesigned with offices and a conference room to empower the Foundation to complete our mission: to strengthen and transform White County by fostering charitable giving, philanthropic aspiration, and leadership.
Do you have precious memories from your youth in the Calvert Youth Center? We would love to hear your stories and see pictures. Join our #LoveWhereYouLive Challenge by sharing pictures of your favorite spots in White County (like the Calvert Youth Center), and we’ll share them with our Facebook community. We are collecting photos all year long to celebrate our 25th anniversary. One photo winner will have their photo adorn the cover of our 25th Anniversary Annual Report, and 12 winners will have their photos on News & Review’s 2024 Community Calendar. Send your photos to email@example.com or share them on Facebook and tag our page @cfwhitecounty.