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Highland Lake

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Highland Lake is located in southeast Blount County in the north-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
The community of Highland Lake grew up around an artificial lake originally named Shuff Lake after Hugh Shuff, the engineer who created it in 1954. Shuff oversaw construction of an earthen dam across the Blackburn Fork of the Little Warrior River, resulting in a 257-acre lake that was to be used for irrigation and recreation. In 1956, the Joe L. Moore and Company investment group from Gadsden, Etowah County, began developing the real estate around the lake, renaming it Lake Highland. The group constructed homes and a recreation area on the lakeshore, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts, filing for bankruptcy a few years later. Local property owners voted to create a corporation in 1963 and took over management of the community under the name Lake Highland Inc. Sources differ as to whether the community incorporated as Highland Lake in either August 1967 or August 1968. The community corporation maintained control until a spillway at the dam was damaged in a flash flood in 1977. Unable to afford the repairs, they sold the land to the Lake Highland Beach Club Inc. in 1978. In 1983, the town government purchased the property.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Highland Lake recorded a population of 360. Of that number, 96.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 3.0 percent as two or more races, 0.6 percent as African American, and 0.5 percent as Asian. The town's median household income was $44,758, and the per capita income was $24,736.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Highland Lake was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services, and health care and social assistance (28.9 percent)
  • Retail trade (13.8 percent)
  • Manufacturing (10.5 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (8.6 percent)
  • Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (7.9 percent)
  • Construction (7.2 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (7.2 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (5.3 percent)
  • Public administration (4.6 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (2.0 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (2.0 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing and utilities (2.0 percent)
Education
Students in Highland Lake attend Blount County schools; no public schools are located in town.
Transportation
County Road 29 runs southeast-northwest just northeast of town.
Events and Places of Interest
Lake Highland provides recreational opportunities such as fishing, swimming, boating, and camping. The town maintains a city park with a gazebo, playground, and a walking trail. Highland Lake holds an annual Fall Festival the second week in October. It features free food, games, and contests.

Additional Resources

Bicentennial Edition of the Heritage of Blount County. N.p.: Blount County Historical Society, 1977.
Blount County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Blount County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 1999.
Published:  February 11, 2013   |   Last updated:  February 11, 2013