Rufus Stanley moved to Elmira in June, 1886 to work as the Secretary of the Boys Department of the Y.M.C.A. On his first Saturday here, he borrowed a camera and took a hike up East Hill with a group of boys he was working with at the Y. They explored Water Cure Glen and got pictures of Mark Twain’s summer home. This was the beginning of the Rambling Club and a lifetime of public service for Stanley.
|Members of the Rambling Club at Water Cure Glen, 1886
|Rambling Club picnic at Quarry Farm, 1886
At any given time there were about 10 boys in the club. Their ages ranged from 12 to 15 years old. The boys themselves chose who could become members and they also governed their own conduct. There was no official constitution or written laws but they all seemed to understand that common courtesy was expected. No smoking or swearing was allowed but the boys could and did play regular pranks on each other.
|Assailing the fish, 1889
|Silver coffeepot given to Stanley by members of the Night Walkers in 1898
|Invitation to Rambling Club Reunion held June 8, 1926
|Photograph from the 1926 reunion showing Stanley second from left, mostly obscured
Rufus Stanley is buried in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery. A monument honoring his work with the area’s youth is on display at Harris Hill Park.