The Emerson Family YMCA was founded in response to 300 young people who petitioned Ferguson for a teen center in 1947. Originally called the Ferguson YMCA, the branch served as an extension of what is now the Mid-County Family YMCA for six years until it received a branch charter. Its name was then changed to the North County YMCA to reflect a larger service area.
The first phase of the present facility opened in 1969 with a pool, locker rooms, meeting rooms and offices. Soon after, the six-acre property was developed for outdoor sports. Funds from a 1980s capital campaign added the Florissant Rotary Club Nautilus Center, racquetball courts, a gymnasium with a track and two additional acres for softball fields and volleyball courts. The North County YMCA was renamed in 1988 to reflect a generous contribution from Emerson Electric Company.