“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

East Lake Park

East Lake Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, January 2, 2010
1. East Lake Park Marker
Inscription.  East Lake was planned in 1886 by the East Lake Land Company to help sell home sites to the men who came in the 1870's to work in Birmingham's steel industry. First named Lake Como, after the lake in the Italian Alps, it soon came to be called East Lake. Using water from Roebuck Springs and Village Creek this 45 acre man - made lake, within a 100 acre park, enhanced the area by providing a year round pleasure resort.

In a short time East Lake Park became a major recreational center of the Birmingham area and in 1887 a street car line was run out to the park. Among the amusements offered at the park through the years were a ferris wheel, a shooting gallery, boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, golf, baseball, a steamboat, a zoo, and band concerts and other entertainment in the pavilion.

The City of Birmingham purchased the park in 1917 and today, East Lake Park is one of the largest municipal recreational facilities in Alabama.
Erected 1991 by Alabama Historical Commission / City of Birmingham.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment
East Lake Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, January 2, 2010
2. East Lake Park Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
Parks & Recreational AreasRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
Location. 33° 34.224′ N, 86° 43.488′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from 1st Avenue North (U.S. 11) south of 83rd Street North. The marker is located on the east bank of the lake by the flag pole near the 1st Avenue North entrance to the park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Birmingham AL 35206, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ruhama Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); East Lake Community (approx. 0.6 miles away); Howard College (approx. 0.7 miles away); CDR "Snuffy" Smith (approx. 0.9 miles away); Roebuck Spring (approx. 1.2 miles away); Roebuck Springs Historic District (approx. 1.3 miles away); Zion Memorial Gardens (approx. 1.4 miles away); Wilson Chapel And Cemetery (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birmingham.
Also see . . .  The Hawes Murders, 1888. 2006 article by Pam Jones in Alabama Heritage.

“After the inquest [into the death of 7 year old May Hawes] adjourned, a telegram delivered to the Age-Herald [newspaper] announced the marriage of Richard Hawes, ‘one of
Flowers for May Hawes image. Click for full size.
By Asher Maystein, October 30, 2011
3. Flowers for May Hawes
The Haunting of East Lake Park. Flowers are given annually to the Child of the Lake or the East Lake Mermaid on October 30th. It is said to appease her spirit and bring good luck. See the Hawes Murders of 1888. The Mermaid of East Lake can be seen by Larius Island at dusk.
the most popular employees of the Georgia-Pacific railway,’ to Mayes Story in Columbus that afternoon. It further noted that the couple was traveling by train to Augusta, Georgia, before embarking on their wedding trip through the East. When the train stopped at Birmingham’s station, several Birmingham police officers and an Age-Herald reporter boarded the train and arrested Hawes for the murder of his daughter. According to the reporter, Hawes was still in his wedding clothes when the officers approached him: ‘He asked no questions as to which of his children he was accused of having murdered, nor did he express any desire to see the remains. About all that he said on the way to the jail was that he was innocent’.” (Submitted on November 5, 2011.) 
East Lake Park image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, January 2, 2010
4. East Lake Park
Arial View of East Lake Park image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, May 1, 1988
5. Arial View of East Lake Park
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 3,582 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on May 29, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 20, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.   3. submitted on November 2, 2011, by Asher Maystein of East Lake, Birmingham, Alabama.   4, 5. submitted on January 20, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 10, 2021