Anna C. Ames (1840-1917) was the wife of Massachusetts Governor Oliver Ames, for whom Oliver Ames High School is named. After her husband's death in 1895, Anna became a strong advocate for the physical development and wellbeing of young people in the community.
In 1902, Mrs. Ames commissioned the construction of a gymnasium on Barrows Street, which she intended to be used for the benefit of the community's youth. She oversaw the development of physical education programs for both boys and girls, hired coaches and instructors, and regularly attended OA games, cheering on the school's teams with great enthusiasm.
Mrs. Ames's dedication to promoting physical activity and fitness had a significant impact on the success of the OA basketball programs in the early 1900s. Her contributions were instrumental in the school's sustained dominance in both girls' and boys' basketball, which lasted throughout the second and third decades of the century.