Archive for the 'Lake Martin Living' Category

Alex City Jazz Fest 2008 At The Lake Martin Amphitheater

The Alex City Jazz Fest, held in downtown Alexander City and at the Lake Martin Amphitheater, announces its dates and the performing acts for 2008. As usual, it is loaded with talent:

Friday, June 13, downtown Alex City:

Coolbone6:00 PMCoolbone Brass Band “ they are a true marching New Orleans style œBrass Band. Dont confuse them with your Uncle Leo in his ban-lon playing a snappy ditty on the oboe. These guys march, play, dance, get among the crowd and entertain the whole time. Dont be late, I hear they are going to do something different on their opening song.

7:30 PMAmanda Shaw “ she is a 17 year old fiddle phenom from Louisiana. This is a great example of how the Jazz Fest seeks to bring you a wide variety of different music. I think they tried to book her last year and are glad to snag her now.

9:30 PM Ivan Nevilles Dumpstaphunk “ they are fresh off a date at the other Jazz Fest (New Orleans). If you have never heard of the Neville Brothers and therefore Ivan, then you deserve to miss this rare treat. Most people have to pay $50 a head to hear any Neville; you can hear them for free. If you dont have the good sense to show up, nothing I say or link to here will change that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 “ Lake Martin Amphitheater

6:30 PM Randall Bramblett “ he has toured and played with folks like Greg Allman, Widespread Panic, Traffic, and a little band called the Grateful Dead. Bill Berry of R.E.M. says hes œthe most talented and prolific song writer I have the privilege of knowing.

8:00 PM Zac Brown Band “ I dont know much about him but he seems to be a fun œsouthern style act that gets the crowd rolling. Check out his web site.

10:00 PMJoe Bonamassa “ I am really excited about this one. He opened for B.B. King Joe Bonamassawhen he was 12 years old. I hear him and his music played all the time on Sirius Satellite Radios Blues Channel 74. He is all over various magazine covers, and is a pretty big deal in blues & guitar circles. They have been trying to book this guy for a couple of years now. He is good. He is to 2008 as Derek Trucks was to 2006 “ that is, the guy that your friend will see on the t-shirt a year from now and will say œBonamassa played for free on Lake Martin? Please tell me you went.

More About the Alex City Jazz Fest

The Jazz Fest is a FREE BYOB event made possible by its sponsors. If you choose to drink, please drink responsibly. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to each location and enjoy the atmosphere. This event is always a good time and one of the Lake Martin areas biggest parties. In fact, it is one of the few remaining music festivals of its size in the southeast that is still FREE. Sure, you have to pay a parking fee Saturday at the LMAT, but its still pretty cheap at $10 a car. A lot of the money goes to the Kowaliga Area Volunteer Fire Department, so you can feel good about that.

The Alex City Jazz Fest always needs more sponsors, so please click here if you are interested in becoming a fan favorite. $300 is the minimum sponsorship level, but if you want to be a œFriend you can contribute whatever you can.

Lunch At Willow Point – Lake Martin

A couple of Sundays ago found us at Willow Point eating lunch to celebrate my Moms birthday. We ate lunch in the Willow Point Clubhouse, which overlooks the golf course, and of course, Lake Martin. I had my camera with me, and it was such a beautiful day, I thought to take a few photos.

Why do most Lake Martin lovers wait until Memorial Day to come to the lake? Beats me. Springtime has great weather “ plenty of sun and temps in the low 70s. What a beautiful day. Enjoy:

Willow Points 18th green:

willow point lake martin

Willow Points Driving Range:

willow point golf course lake martin

The tee box on number 10, one of the holes that play along Lake Martin:

willow point waterfront property

Willow Point Villas (available for rent by members):

Willow Point homes for sale

The Pool & Cabana:

willow point property lots lake martin

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Lake Martin Water Up, Business Is Hopping

Lake Martin water level affect on businessThis is not a news flash: Lake Martin’s water level is back!

It’s hard to believe, but in the 5 short weeks since I wrote this post  about the water hitting 480, Lake Martin stands inches away from its highest possible mark of 490.  All of the nay sayers have been proved wrong.  Many (myself included) wondered if it would take more than one summer to recover from the worst drought recorded in 80 years.  The next time we have a rain shortage, I hope we remember how fast it bounced back.

How has it affected businesses around the lake?

Real Estate

I have been extremely busy in the last month especially.  I have picked up all sorts of new waterfront listings.  I have been running all over the lake taking pictures and shooting video tours.  Buyers are calling again.  Turns out, my phone does work!  It’s a good feeling.  I am no exception, many other Lake Martin realtors tell me the same thing.

All agent fluffery aside, 2008 will prove a great time to buy property on Lake Martin.  There is still a lot of inventory out there from the doldrums of 2007.  Sellers have reduced prices and (if they’re smart) are still eager to sell.  Interest rates are down, so conditions are still very favorable for buyers.


JT Voltz at Blue Creek Marina tells me that they are “covered up” in work already.  Their staff is back full steam and looking forward to a better summer.

Lake Martin places to eatI spoke to Oskar (of Oskar’s) this morning and she said that their business has bounced back as well.  They are ready to forget 2007 and are looking back to 2006 to plan for their restaurant traffic this summer.

Early season success has not been limited to the Dadeville side of Lake Martin.  Green Valley Market and Cafe tells me that last weekend they served about as many meals as they ever have.  They opened in 2007, so they anticipate to easily break their own records of catering and restaurant business this summer.

Lake Martin gasonline marinasDavid Naile of Nail’s Convenience Store in downtown Kowaliga says that the last couple of weekends’ nice weather has shown a spike in gasoline and c-store sales.  Naile confirmed that he is planning to expand his offerings inside the store to accommodate the higher traffic.

Make An Impact At The Tallapoosa Watershed Conference

 Tallapoosa darterThe “4th Annual State of Our Watershed Conference – The Tallapoosa River Basin”, coordinated from the Alabama Water Watch office in the AU Department of Fisheries, is for all who are interested in learning more about the health of streams, lakes and rivers of the Tallapoosa River Basin, the development plans for Lake Martin and visions of policy makers, watershed management strategies, and community participation in management of water resources of the basin.

Conference Information:

Location:      Central Alabama Community College, HEA Auditorium, 1675 Cherokee Road, Alexander City, AL

Date:      Friday, April 11th, 2008

Cost:     FREE registration and A FREE LUNCH will be provided

Topics:      Drought impacts, upgrading Lake Martin to Outstanding Alabama Water, Lake Martin dam relicensing, community-based watershed initiatives, and the role of the AU Water Resources Center in management of the Tallapoosa River Basin

Register:     To register (required),  visit the Tallapoosa Watershed Project web site at:

Thanks to Dick Bronson at Lake Watch for submitting this event to the Lake Martin Voice!

Lake Martin Breaks The Rule

lake martin water risingLake Martin’s water level has finally risen above the rule curve established by Alabama Power and the Corps of Engineers.

Today’s read of 481.83 is above the rule curve of 481.7.  What does this mean in English? Lake Martin’s water level is ahead of the pace it needs to get to full pool of 490.  This is great news. It has been over a year since we could say that.

How did it get there?  Rain, plain and simple.  The Lord God saw fit to send rain our way.  It wasn’t Alabama Power, or the Governor, or the Corps of Engineers.  They don’t make it rain, though their efforts (along with many others) make sure that we make the most with what we get.

Two days of storms have dumped 2 to 3 inches of rain in the Lake Martin watershed, and the result as been a rise in the lake’s level of 1.3 feet (so far) in the last 24 hours.  This doesn’t mean the drought is over.  But, the level raise has buoyed many spirits.

Praise God!


Related Reading:

Alabama and Lake Martin Win Battle In Water War
Higher Winter Water Level Approved For Lake Martin

Lake Martin’s Sand Island Repaired By Russell Lands

Lake Martin’s Sand Island has been battered by erosion and losing real estate for many years. Alabama’s 80 year record drought exposed a land bridge and afforded area developer Russell Lands an opportunity to drive to it and make repairs.

I rode out there on Friday, December 14, 2007.  It was pretty weird to be able to drive to an island that I have ridden past in a boat hundreds of times.  I shot some video to show the repairs that Russell Lands did to stave off erosion.  They created a sea wall made of rip rap similar to those found on many Lake Martin waterfront homes.  To make the video play below, click on it, then click on the Play arrow in the center.


Click here for the direct link to Youtube.

Sorry for those dark corners.  I used the wrong lens.  FYI, if you’re thinking about driving out there, don’t bother.  The road is blocked by a couple of sturdy, locked gates.  Plus, it’s deer hunting season, and the area is heavily hunted.

My sincere thanks and Kudos go out to Russell Lands for repairing this famous Lake Martin / Kowaliga area landmark.  They deserve a lot of credit for using this crazy drought as a chance to do some good.

Also many thanks to my friend and Salvaging Mentor Larry Bain of Lake Martin Dock Company for the ride out there.

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Lost At Lake Martin? Use Google’s Free Maps For Mobile

Ever been lost around Lake Martin?  Has anyone given you bad directions to their cabin and frustrated you by relying on the term “can’t miss it?”  If you were looking for 1135 Lakeview Drive, Dadeville, how would you like to be able to see this map on your cell phone:

 Google map lake martin


Download Google’s Maps for Mobile on your cell phone and greatly diminish your odds of getting lost around Lake Martin.

Top 5 Cool things about Google Maps for mobile:

1.  It’s free.  The software from Google is free.  You will pay, however, for the data that you download, so if you don’t have some sort of Internet data package with your cell phone you will be charged.  If you have an unlimited data package – no worries! Even if my blackberry didn’t have unlimited data, I still would pay to download this, so I would have it in an emergency.

2. Google Maps for Mobile is accurate – even around Lake Martin.  You are accessing the same data that Google Maps shows you on your PC – just in a format that is easy on mobile web surfing.  Sure, it won’t have brand new roads, but it’s better than the most recent paper map.

3. It’s Searchable – let’s say you were in the Blue Creek area, riding around highway 50 by Martin Dam and were looking for somewhere to eat lunch. You can find your location and then search for “restaurant” – here’s what you would see:

 lake martin restaurants near blue creek


You can click on any of these and be told their address and phone number.

4. “My Location” feature turns your cell phone into a GPS. This new feature uses cell phone towers to triangulate your exact location.  Cool as crap.  Availability and accuracy of this depends on where you are.  I have not found a place on Lake Martin that it works.  It works pretty well on Lake Martin.  Depending on your cell coverage, it can place you from 1,000 to 5,000 meters.  It works in Montgomery, though.  If you think that the CIA will use it to track you, you can opt out of the My Location feature and still use Maps for Mobile.

5. No further software needed. GPS companies like Garmin etc have products that you can download for $99 and then pay a recurring fee through your cell phone provider– all to get the same thing as this.  Lake Martin lovers need only download Google Maps for mobile software, that’s it.  Click here and Google will send you a link to download it.

Higher Winter Water Level Approved For Lake Martin

lake martin real estate water levelLake Martin scored a major victory when FERC approved Alabama Power’s plan to raise the winter water level to 483, effective this year.

Alabama Power has also requested to move up the date to fill the Lake Martin to summer level up to January 15, 2008.  THIS IS ALL GOOD NEWS.

Lake Martin’s winter water level is usually 480 msl.  It’s lower than that this year, as Alabama has suffered through the worst drought recorded in 80 years.  Pretty much the rest of the southeast has suffered, too, but Alabama and Georgia have been hit the hardest.

Also, Alabama Power is in the process of reapplying for the license to operate Martin Dam.  lake martin waterfront propertyMost everyone that knows and loves Lake Martin is hoping that the move to 483 level during the winter will be a part of that relicensing, as well as the early fill up date of January 15.

If we get our normal amount of rain, this should mean that Lake Martin will recover its “lost” water more quickly.  Yee-haw!! 

Can you believe it?  How many of you out there will be able to drive your boat to your dock at 483 feet versus 480?  I am betting lots.


Related posts:

Alabama Power Wants Higher Winter Water Level On Lake Martin
Why / When Does The Water Level Go Up On Lake Martin?

Closets For Your Lake Martin Cabin: $50

lake martin real estate for saleDo you have a a cabin on Lake Martin with no little or no closet space?  Why not buy a nice armoire for $50?

Lots of the waterfront homes around Lake Martin were built in the 1960s, so that means no storage.  The owners can fix them up or keep them rustic, but lack of closets can be a hassle.  In fact, one of my listings that sold this summer didn’t have a closet.

Solution: Buy a used armoire.  I read in a recent Wall Street Journal article that there are tons of really nice used armoires out there for the taking, some as little as $50.  This is caused by the flat screen TV phenomenon.  As people upgrade to the new thing, they can no longer fit them into their entertainment center / armoire.

Hotels have it even worse.  As they struggle to keep fresh, they are dumping armoires by the thousands.  Why not buy one online and take it to your Lake Martin cabin?  Either keep it for a tube TV or convert it to store clothes, lake toys, or whatever.  Many of these furniture pieces are from pretty swanky hotels.lake martin storage

Check it out:


Hotel Surplus Outlet,
This Los Angeles liquidator is encouraging customers to buy armoires and convert them into computer stations.

Universal Hotel Liquidators,
Armoires start at $89.95. Starting next year, the company plans to throw in free tube TVs to help move inventory.
National Content Liquidators,
Starting prices for armoires here are down to $50. Among its hotel clients: Le Meridien in Beverly Hills.
AMC Liquidators,
This Fort Lauderdale liquidator has sold armoires that were once used to furnish the Breakers hotel in Palm Beach.


Learn how to convert your entertainment armoire into a wardrobe.


Alex City Water System Extends Intakes Deeper in Lake Martin

The drought this year has threatened to lower the level of Lake Martin to below where the intake valves for the water works of the City of Alex City are located. The City has had to extend their intake valves to deeper water.  This video was filmed 10–26–2007 on the Tallapoosa River just above River North Marina.   Click on the “play” symbol in the middle of the video below to watch it.



 Or you can click here to see the video on Youtube.