The Optimist Club of Huntsville was chartered in 1947. Since then the Club has been a leader in supporting the youth in our community. In the early days, the Club ran concession stands at many events at the old coliseum. In the early 1950’s the Club purchased the baseball field and a lot adjacent to it from the old mills that had closed. For many years, the Club ran sporting events, horse shows, fishing derby’s and many other events on this property.
When Interstate 565 was being constructed, the City of Huntsville purchased the land from the Club for use with the highway project. In the deed the Club had a clause stating that if the land was not used for the highway, then it had to be used for youth purposes. The highway eventually was routed just North of the land. The City of Huntsville asked the Club to help in building a recreation center on the land adjacent to the ball field. The Club gave the City of Huntsville $100,000 to build the recreation center. Today it is called the Optimist Recreation Center and the City of Huntsville runs the facility.