Responding to Community Need
Growth was rapid during the Cannon Memorial YMCA’s early years. Bowling lanes, a movie theater, pool tables and numerous physical activities attracted members. In 1910, crowds overflowed at the old Kannapolis Ball Park to watch the Kannapolis YMCA Baseball Club, known as the “Y Nine”, battle area rivals.
The Cannon Memorial YMCA has been the center of Kannapolis both figuratively and literally since its inception. This was reflected by the North Carolina General Assembly Act in January 1909. That act conferred police power on Deputy Sheriffs and defines the borders of Kannapolis:
“The boundary of Kannapolis shall be a circle, every point of which shall be one mile distant from the center of the ground covered by the David Franklin Cannon Memorial Hall erected at Kannapolis as a YMCA building.”
Before new churches were built, the YMCA opened its doors to eager worshipers and became the place where many congregations gathered before constructing their church buildings.
According to Cannon Mills Board of Directors minutes, President J.W. Cannon reported to stockholders at the January 27, 1916 meeting:
“During the year  we have built some additional tenement houses and have found it necessary to add to our YMCA building.”