Historic Markers Across Alabama

East Lake Community

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: 7701 1st Avenue North, Birmingham AL
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 33.708    W 086° 43.716
  33.5618    -86.7286
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMCPHA


The Creek Indian Cession of 1814 opened this section of Alabama to settlement. At the time of statehood in 1819 many pioneer families had located here in what later became known as Jones Valley. By 1820 the area was called Ruhama Valley as a result of the religious fervor of Hosea Holcomb who preached mercy or "Ruhamah." As early as 1839 a post office named Rockville was established for the local community.

Major growth came in 1886 as a result of the promotion of the East Lake Land Company by Robert Jemison Sr. to provide housing sites for the miners drawn to the booming iron ore industry in Birmingham. Lots 50 feet wide and 180 feet long were laid out on 2,000 acres between what is now 69th Street to 85th Street and 5th Avenue North and 5th Avenue South. Development was dependent on the East Lake Railroad which began operating on October 8, 1887. On this site a car barn was built to house the equipment of the 21 steam locomotives operating between downtown Birmingham and the East Lake terminus at 83rd Street.

The town of East Lake was incorporated December 13, 1900. As a result of the street car the business district developed rapidly. On January 1, 1910 East Lake was incorporated into the City of Birmingham but it has remained a distinctive community.

End of East Lake Community