Dust Bowl Dams -Optimist lake- Dam of Historical Significance.
Published by Sherry Lynn Gros 07/09/2021
Completed in 1937 Optimist Lake Dam is a Dust Bowl era Dam Built by a Public Works crew of that time. Optimist has a Park attached to the dam because that was the part of the government deal to get the dam built.
This build was a contract with the Federal Government. It was built to control soil erosion. It is not private because it fits the criteria for navigable in the US Code of Federal Regulations.
Below is a picture of the dust bowl era dam being constructed and the men who constructed it. You have an earthen embankment dam laid with rebar then covered in cement. Much of the rebar today is exposed on Optimist Dam.
This Dam was a government project to mitigate soil erosion and protect the land and roads beneath the wash at the time. We have a LOT more water shedding into the area today almost 100 years later. The subdivision of Highland Park is home to Optimist Lake reservoir and there are many great discussions whether this is a private or public reservoir. Some site the idea of the neighborhood being “restriced to the white race only” back in the 40s as the reason for this belief and others site US Waters and riparian rights open to the Gulf of Mexico as the reason for public waters.
This Lake is not private and the waters are Waters of the US possibly navigable as this tributary runds directly to the Gulf of Mexico although it would take some portage. This is a dam of historical significance to this area and the U.S.A. as a symbol of resilience and resolve to rebuild and preserve our Country. ALABAMA SAVE THIS DAM!