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 History of the Penacook Community Center

“The opening of the Penacook Youth Center brings to this community
a new, adequate recreation center for youth groups.”

 - Frank Dowd, President
Penacook Youth Center Board Of Directors
April 3, 1954


Santa VisitsWith those words, on a chilly Saturday, the Penacook Youth Center first opened its doors to the public in 1954. Several hundred people attended the open house, eager to see the results of the six-year volunteer effort, which involved thousands of man hours.

Building the center beginning in 1948 was truly a community effort. Throughout the construction phase, the men of Penacook spent their nights and weekends working on the projects, while the women did their part by hosting picnic suppers in Rolfe Park. According to a Concord Monitor report at the time, “Some families who preferred to eat supper at home came afterwards to enjoy the worker bee fellowship.” The Palace Theatre showed “moving pictures” to benefit the project. Youth groups held paper drives to raise money and young and old alike gathered to watch as the large steel girders for the Center’s roof were unloaded from the trains and trucked to the work site.


Working through a number of obstacles, including a prolonged spell of cold, wet weather, the volunteer effort moved forward, driven by a single goal – to create a safe place for kids.


The Penacook Youth Center evolved into today’s Penacook Community Center, which meets the needs of a much broader spectrum of people. We offer a Licensed Plus child care programs, kindercare program, before and after school program for school aged children, an innovative summer camp program, an “extreme teens” summer camp program, services and activities for teens and adults and a very comprehensive program for our vibrant seniors.


Gathering Place for Youth

Our professional, caring and dedicated staff is proud of the Center’s rich history, and we salute the men and women who gave so much over the years to make the Center what it is today. Through times have changed, our focus remains the same: we too are committed to providing a safe, enriching and happy experience for the people we serve. We have renewed energies at every level throughout the organization and we continually strive to improve the quality and variety of our programs and services

We invite you to stop by any time and see our programs at work!
Proud to be a United Way Agency
A United Way of Merrimack County Parnter Agency
Granite United Way
Exceptional programs and affordable services since 1954 76 Community Drive
(603) 753-9700