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Lake Martin and Russell Lands – A brief history

In 1846 the Russell family began ownership of the land in the central part of Alabama. The textile mill “Russell Mills” was stationed in Alexander City. The lake was established as the Martin Dam was completed in 1926. Lake Martin was at that time the largest man made body of water in the world. Russell Lands, Inc. began building some of the cabins in about 1948, not until 1960′s did Willow Point Golf and Country Club come out of the ground. Willow Point is a +/- 170 acre facility with 18 holes of pristine golf, tennis courts, cabana with pool and fitness center. The Willow Point residential development began in the early 70′s (My parents, Mike & India Davis moved in Willow Point phase 1 in 1974) which would be the first of many lake front neighborhoods planned by Russell Lands. Willow Point has grown to 14 phases, with a neighborhood within called Glynmere. Not Far from Willow Point, Windermere, Winderemere West and Windover were started, and then decade or so later came The Ridge.

* A few of the Islands on Lake Martin
July 28, 2014 By sawyer

In 1846 the Russell family began ownership of the land in the central part of Alabama. The textile mill “Russell Mills” was stationed in Alexander City. The lake was established as the Martin Dam was completed in 1926. Lake Martin was at that time the largest man made body of water in the world. Russell Lands, Inc. began building some of the cabins in about 1948, not until 1960′s did Willow Point Golf and Country Club come out of the ground. Willow Point is a +/- 170 acre facility with 18 holes of pristine golf, tennis courts, cabana with pool and fitness center. The Willow Point residential development began in the early 70′s (My parents, Mike & India Davis moved in Willow Point phase 1 in 1974) which would be the first of many lake front neighborhoods planned by Russell Lands. Willow Point has grown to 14 phases, with a neighborhood within called Glynmere. Not Far from Willow Point, Windermere, Winderemere West and Windover were started, and then decade or so later came The Ridge.

* A few of the Islands on Lake Martin

  • Chimney Rock Island – Chimney Rock Island has long been a famous landmark on Lake Martin. Its name came from a tall rock resembling a chimney that protrudes from the top of the island.
  • Acapulco Rock Island – Acapulco Rock Island is adjacent to Chimney Rock Island at the Tallapoosa River Gorge. It is often mistaken for Chimney Rock.
  • Doctor’s Island – So named because a group of doctors used the island as a base camp to fish. Their camp remains but was destroyed by fire a few years ago.
  • Goat Island – Goat Island is north of Martin Dam. It has become the residence for a family of goats.
  • Graveyard Island – A small county graveyard from before the construction of Martin Dam is located on what is now a tiny island in Lake Martin. About 30 by 30 yards (27 m) around, it is in the Bay Pine area.
  • Real Island – Not an island or distinct community, residents named it for “Real Island Road,” which runs through it, and a nearby marina. Real Island is a region of Eclectic, Alabama.
  • Sand Island – Sand Island is a small island located between Willow Point and Kowaliga Marina. Over the years erosion has taken its toll on the island, but rocks have recently been placed around the island to prevent it from being completed washed away. Boats frequently park on its sandy shallow beach. It is likely the smallest island on the lake.
  • Young’s Island – The Young residence (of Young’s ferry) was here and was destroyed by fire in the early 1990s. The foundation remains and there are historic markers for the graves of the family’s children.
  • Weed Hill Island – Weed Hill is a small island almost directly across from the Pleasure Point Marina boat ramp. Although at one time it was much larger, erosion has reduced the landmass.
  • Wood’s Island – Wood’s Island is a larger island, connected to the mainland by a land bridge during low water times. It has several trails for hiking. It can be found at the end of Young’s Ferry Rd on the West side of the lake.