Lake Martin Voice Realty
Archive for the 'Lake Martin History' Category
Life is good in River Oaks. Lake Martin Voice clients, Liz and Glenn, bought a waterfront home in River Oaks about a year ago, and I went by to catch up and see the improvements they’ve made. Liz was kind enough to share why she loves River Oaks and the north lake area in general. She especially enjoys how kind folks around here can be . . .
If you’d like to know more about River Oaks, CLICK HERE to see my River Oaks Neighborhood page. Here you’ll find history on the development, maps, a video tour, and most importantly, a live feed from the MLS showing homes and lots currently for sale. I have Neighborhood pages for most of the neighborhoods and areas of Lake Martin, and they are great research tools. Look for the blue Neighborhoods button near the top of my website, right under the big picture.
If you have questions about River Oaks, or any area on Lake Martin, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or click here to contact me. I’d love to talk Lake Martin with you, and I’d love to help you find your lake home!
Young’s Island is a major landmark on the east side of Lake Martin. I always look for it when I’m in my boat heading north from Pleasure Point toward the main river channel, and when I’m headed south from Highway 280 and Jackson’s Gap toward Chimney Rock.
There used to be a ferry – Young’s Ferry – that would take people back and forth across this channel. That’s why there are two Young’s Ferry Roads on Lake Martin: a Young’s Ferry Road on the west side in Alex City, and one on the opposite side in Dadeville.
Having two Young’s Ferry Roads on one lake is not unusual for Lake Martin. Since this one lake covers 3 counties, and (depending on your definition of a “city”) 0 – 5 cities, having the same name for multiple roads in very common. For example, there are several “Lakeviews,” “Lakewoods,” “Hilltops,” “Dogwoods,” and even two “Easy” streets. This can make searching for homes a little tricky, so be sure you understand the address you’re seeing on the Lake Martin MLS.
Or just call me. I make it my business to know trivia like this - that of the two homes for sale today on “Easy” streets, the one in Eclectic is on a leased lot, and the one in Alex City is deeded. I’d love to help you find the Lake Martin property you’re searching for. As a member of the lake MLS, I can help you with any property, regardless of the listing agent. Give me a call (334) 221-5862, or shoot me an email at [email protected]
Any reader of this real estate blog knows that I am way into the recent trend of paddle boarding that has hit Lake Martin. I am a proud fan of the Paddle Lake Martin fan page on Facebook and enjoyed putting on a paddle board race in June.
But I am blown away by, and supremely jealous of, Harold Banks of Dadeville. Harold is the original Lake Martin paddler in my book. I have been reading his day by day account of paddling from Fort Toulouse (the confluence of the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers, aka The Alabama River) to Mobile Bay. If you have not read this account, give yourself a treat and read these links on The Alexander City Outlook and his account in Lake Martin Living Magazine.
This amazing adventure reminded me that Mr. Banks became the first person to canoe the entire Tallapoosa River a few years ago. The Tallapoosa is what feeds Lake Martin, and it has its origins as a humble creek in Georgia. Banks took a few weeks in 2009 and started at its Georgia headwaters, paddled through the state line into Alabama, through a few lakes including Lake Martin, all the way to Fort Toulouse near Wetumpka. You can google “harold banks tallapoosa” for more info. He is mentioned on the Alabama Scenic River Trail site, but if you want to read his amazing travel journal from the trip, click here.
He has really inspired me. I have been wanting for years to do that, but per his advice I will take it in chunks. I am shouting out to my fellow Paddle Lake Martin folks, let’s take down the Lake Martin leg this fall! We could start at the shoals at Jaybird Landing, then end up at the dam. If we do it over two days, we could even camp one night!
One of these days I promise we’re going to go from Lake Wedowee to Jaybird to soak in the scenery and wildlife. But in the meantime, here’s a good article in Lake Magazine with some shorter trips!
When searching for waterfront homes in the Lake Martin MLS, you are bound to come across one of the areas on Lake Martin called Parker Creek. Parker Creek is not a formal neighborhood – it describes a very large area located on the northwest side of Lake Martin. It is in Coosa County, Alabama, and accessed by Coosa County roads. It gets its name from, you guessed it, Parker Creek, that once flowed into Big Kowaliga Creek before Martin Dam was constructed.
If you would like to see waterfront homes and lots for sale right now in the Parker Creek area, CLICK HERE to go to my Parker Creek Neighborhood page. I have a report that shows every waterfront home and lot for sale – by all agents, all brokerages, on Lake Martin. It pulls from the Lake Martin MLS so it will be current no matter when you visit the page.
Now, what you see in the map above includes a lot more than Parker Creek. When you use my website to search the MLS for current homes for sale in Parker Creek, you’ll notice I’ve also included Oakachoy Creek past the Narrows, The Needles Eye, and Pitchford Hollow. My fellow locals, especially, will call me crazy for including these micro-areas in a Parker Creek search. I agree, they are not technically on Parker Creek, but they are close enough. And I can’t break these searches into every tiny slough and hollow or I would have a million Neighborhood Pages for Lake Martin. Basically this search catches every waterfront home and lot that is north of Sand Island and not in Willow Point. If you are relatively new to Lake Martin, you won’t care about this trivia. Sticklers, please forgive me and see the above map.
As one of the older areas that were developed on Lake Martin, you’ll see large homes with character, and smaller homes built with fun on the lake in mind. This is because most of this land was once owned by Alabama Power who leased the land to homeowners who then built their own improvements. This program lasted from the 1950s to 1970s and resulted in a lot of little fish camp, rustic style homes. Then Alabama Power, over the course of many years, started selling each homeowner the lots underneath their waterfront homes. The Parker Creek area saw a renaissance of building as more people invested more heavily into their homes.
Parker Creek has slowly populated over time to include tiny cabins that are next to million dollar homes. There are no official neighborhoods here, but there are lots of small, winding county roads, both paved and dirt. Generally speaking, the lots in this area are a little bigger, more wooded, and less sloping, and the feel is more rural. (Of course I can always find the exception to that statement.)
Parker Creek Marina is located on the south side of the Parker Creek and has a gas dock, dry boat storage, ship’s store, and service facility. It’s independently owned, and is perfect for boat owners and their needs. Many people from the Little Kowaliga / Real Island area also use Parker Creek Marina since it’s so close to them by car.
Just like any waterfront home, lot, or condo on Lake Martin, I can help you with it, regardless of who has it listed. I would love to be your real estate agent. CLICK HERE to contact me, or you can email me (info @ lakemartinvoice . com), or you can call me at (334) 221-5862.
Ok, so the Little Kowaliga area is not technically a neighborhood; rather it is a geographic area of waterfront homes on Lake Martin. It’s a way to talk about that branch of Lake Martin on the west side of the lake, north of Kowaliga Bridge, and around the corner west of Sinclair’s and Kowaliga Marina. Some people that grew up here or have had cabins on Lake Martin for 40 years may even argue with me for calling it Little Kowaliga. Lots of people refer to this area as the Real Island area, because Real Island Marina is the oldest marina in this area.
If you would like to see waterfront homes and lots for sale right now in the Little Kowaliga area, CLICK HERE to go to my Little Kowaliga Neighborhood page. I have a report that shows every waterfront home and lot for sale – by all agents, all brokerages, on Lake Martin. It pulls from the Lake Martin MLS so it will be current no matter when you visit the page.
The reason it’s called Little Kowaliga is because Little Kowaliga Creek once ran here before the lake was created by Martin Dam. It is close to Montgomery, and traditionally a lot of Montgomery families have had cabins in this area.
There aren’t really any formal neighborhoods in Little Kowaliga – no gated entrances with formal signs, no neighborhood pools, etc. Most waterfront homes in this area are located off of county roads. This is a section of Lake Martin where you can have a trailer next to a two million dollar home. It is similar to Parker Creek in that there are really no undeveloped lots left. When you see new construction on a waterfront lot in Little Kowaliga, odds are that person has torn down an old cabin or mobile home.
Driving directions and addresses can be wacky in this area. The county line separating Elmore and Coosa counties runs through Little Kowaliga, so you can have homes in the town of Equality that can be in either Elmore or Coosa County. As you drive the road on the north side of Little Kowaliga, road signs can switch from Elmore County to Coosa County, and then back again. Google Maps and GPS’s still haven’t figured out many of the streets, so it pays to combine them with a good physical map of Lake Martin, and good directions from a homeowner. Hancel Road, for example, is a road that runs in and out of both counties, and is spelled 3 or 4 different ways by street signs, Google, the MLS, and GPS’s.
If you’re looking for the “lake cabin at the end of the dirt road” experience, the Little Kowaliga area might be a good fit. To see homes currently for sale in the Little Kowaliga area, CLICK HERE. I’d love to help you find your Lake Martin home – in Little Kowaliga or anywhere on Lake Martin. Remember, I can help you with any property in the Lake Martin MLS, and it doesn’t cost the buyer a dime to have a realtor help you with your research and purchase. The sellers pay my commission.
If I can help, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or email me by CLICKING HERE.
For almost 40 years I’ve enjoyed the pleasures of Lake Martin, but I’ve never given much thought to the reason for all the fun: Martin Dam. These days, as the dam goes, so goes my livelihood, so it’s now important to me on many levels. Plus, I’m the Science Olympiad guy who likes tours and turbines and rooms with lights and switches. Throw in a little history it’s a home run. It was time to go.
Before 9/11, you could just show up and get a tour, but these days you have to schedule it in advance. We had no luck finding a direct Martin Dam phone number, so we contacted Alabama Power through the “Contact Us” tab at the top of their website and typed out our message in the email contact box. Two or so days later we got a response, and the next week we were at the east gate, ready to get started. Lesson – plan your tour about a week in advance. If you want to schedule a dam tour, contact Alabama Power by CLICKING HERE.
The guard who gave us our tour was very nice. He was extremely patient with our large crowd of kids and answered all of our questions expertly.
Like I say above, I’m just a Realtor, so I can’t help you book a tour.
I can help you BUY or SELL your Lake Martin home, though, so give me a call at (334) 221-5862 and let’s talk.
[Edited: Sept. 11, 2012 - if you're looking for my video, sorry! I took it down. Apparently I was not supposed to be filming while we toured. My bad! I must have missed that in the pre-tour briefing. However, don't let my goof up keep you from your own tour! My kids still talk about it five months later, and it was a real treat for me as an Alex City native to finally check it out. It truly was a highlight of our Spring Break and I plan to do it again soon.]
Have you ever ridden on a paddle board, on Lake Martin or elsewhere?
I haven’t, but I seem to be among a dwindling minority.
This blog post was inspired by a recent announcement by my friends at Lake Martin Dock Company. They posted on their Facebook page that they are now a dealer for Bote Boards – a stand up paddle board company out of Destin. Bote Boards look cool to me because several of their models are designed for fishing. There are little holes or slots in the top of the board in which you insert a stand. As a fly fisherman, this makes me want one to try out the paddle and fish thing. Have fun while getting a workout!
Stand up paddling is supposed to be great exercise, especially for the core. I first heard about stand up paddling (SUP) from the Paddle Board race that Yolo put on with Bay Pine Marina. Ever since I read this article I have wanted to try it out.
What about the ultimate combination: on a paddle board, hooking into a big striper, while fly fishing, on the lake? Anyone? Anyone?
What is a birding trail?
A birding trail is a collection of locations where bird lovers and other folks can go to observe some of Alabama’s renowned diversity of bird species. The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail is organized into three “loops.”
The Lake Martin Loop, obviously, is the part of the trail that will be closest to Lake Martin. Some of the observation points are directly on the water of the lake, such as the DARE Park and the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail head. Others will take you off the water, but to nonetheless interesting spots like Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.
The new trail has already earned some attention. Deborah Storey covered it in this Hunstville Times article.
For what it is worth, I think this is an outstanding idea and brilliant marketing on the part of the various Chambers of Commerce that worked together to get this done. I congratulate the Alexander City Chamber for taking the lead on it. Even if you are not a “birder” – you should realize that birding related tourism is a really big business, and Alabama is a mecca.
Furthermore, it offers yet another thing to do off of the water for people who love Lake Martin. Fall is the time of year that I think gives you the best chance to hike, bike, and explore the area around the lake.
Speaking of things to do, how many of you have never been to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park? Why not? It is only about 10 miles off of highway 280 between Dadeville and Alex City. The dedication ceremony gave me a perfect excuse to tour through it again. When I was growing up, we had oodles of school trips out there. As a child, I never appreciated the sheer beauty of that park, nor did I grasp the historical significance of a battle that shaped the destinies of millions of acres of land, entire nations of native Americans, and at least one President. (Hint: check a $5 bill).
After my tour the other day, I was really getting my nature, my history, and my local pride groove on. I went wild in the Park’s gift shop, buying several (my wife rolled her eyes) books about The Battle, this area’s history, and nature. My fellow nerds will please note I added them to my Lake Martin Voice Library. Check them out, they are excellent reads.
To see my other pictures of the opening of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, and Horseshoe Bend Park in general, please see:
The Tornado Recovery Action Council comes to the Lake Martin area with a meeting at Children’s Harbor. The meeting is on Monday, September 26, 2011, at 6:30 PM.
Their stated purpose is: “building a better Alabama and preparing for future disasters.”
They want to hear feedback from people in the Lake Martin area who were affected by the April 2011 tornado.
For more information about this meeting, please contact the TRAC directly through their website: TRACalabama.org
Here is their flyer:
If you read LakeMartinVoice for its brainy real estate analysis, this post may leave you scratching your head. But, by popular demand, I’ve been asked to re-submit a 2008 literary attempt I penned, “An Ode in Praise of the Window Unit.” I don’t typically recycle old material, but this one might strike a chord with a few of you.
(I’m reposting my intro to the piece, too.)
(2008) Lake Magazine has a section called “My Lake Martin” where (apparently) they allow just about anybody to submit an article about the lake. They were kind enough to print one I submitted.
I was inspired to write an ode about a window unit air conditioner that we used to have in our cabin. Judging by its girth and sound, it had to have been made in the 1940s. Its brand name was “Kelvinator.” That’s what we called it, as in “it’s hot in here, turn on the Kelvinator.” When things are around that long, they deserve individual respect.
It’s kind of like how we refer to one of the couches as “The Herculon” as in q: “where is mainsail?” a: “stuffed behind The Herculon” or q: “why are you sweating so bad?” a:”it’s The Herculon – laying on it makes me sweat.”
Lake Martin cabins and window units are inseparable in my mind.
Here it is
An Ode In Praise of the Window Unit
My Lake Martin is a realm ruled by the window unit air conditioner.
Like polyester, it is a reminder of that which once was a point of pride, and is now no longer en vogue.
Oh, woe, and lastima to those who have nay slept below your frigid roar, o humble window unit!! While now your presence draws scorn from some and mockery from the rest, I weep in melancholy for the children of centralized systems who will never know your utility and hypnotic effects.
When the lake melted the zinc oxide from our noses and allowed sunrays to redden our skin, it was you, dear window unit that blew icicles to ease our suffering. You erased our memory such that we were burned the next day and the next.
When our parents were tired of hearing our noise, they declared it “nap time” – and shoved all us kids into one room. You alone watched over us with your rhythmic rumbling machinations. If we didn’t fall asleep, like a favorite uncle you made more noise than we so that the parents never noticed.
We feared you, mighty window unit – where once you were asbestosly insulated, through service your wiring became loose, exposed, menacingly copper, always one mere spark from setting the cabin in irreversible deathly flames, yet we needed you to survive a scorching August.
Lest you take an undignified backwards fall out of your perch and into the yard, we propped you up with an old board wedged into the ground, yet you never complained. Simpering Whines were foreign to you whose hazardous lead innards percolated and spewed pre-war freon. To you, brave window unit, fretting over the ozone layer was for sissies, you had kids to keep cool.
Just as God and Alabama Power mysteriously raised the lake as azaleas are reborn, so too, you were a mystery, our beloved window unit. Each spring when we first plugged you into that Tesla coil of a socket , we wondered if you could breathe once again. Not as lovely as the dogwood, yet as reliable, you awakened decade after decade despite our lack of routine maintenance. You always shook off the leaves and dead lizards to toe the line one more time.
Window unit – Thy name was Kelvinator.
Forgive us for tossing thy corpse into the woods sans pomp or due praise.
You deserved better.