Richland Co. Fairgrounds
Optimist Clubs were started in New York State & Indianapolis in 1926 with 15 members.
The Mansfield Optimist Club was installed on October 16th 1923 by judge Nick Nolan who was former president of Optimist International and past Ohio Governor of Optimist International. He was also the speaker at the club’s 25th anniversary in 1948 and spoke briefly at the club’s 50th anniversary in 1973 at the old Blue Dolphin.
Our club first met in the Leland Hotel, and when it was torn down, the club moved to the Fireside Restaurant on Diamond St.
Elks (many years) – 3rd & Mulberry
Blue Dolphin (short time) – 5 way light
We have had one major fundraiser a year since 1950 when the Optimist Home & Flower Show was held in old North Lake Park Coliseum. It remained there for 15 years. In 1967 the show’s name was changed to the Home & Leisure Living Show, and was held for a time at the Richland Mall. The next major move was to the Richland County FairGrounds, where it remains today.
Other bits of our history can be found on the display tables, or by talking with the older members.