Lewis Smith Lake

Smith Lake Through Trees

Lewis Smith Lake is a reservoir in north Alabama. Located on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River, the lake covers over 21,000 acres (85 km2) in Cullman, Walker, and Winston counties. The three-fingered lake has over 500 miles (800 km) of shoreline, and at full pool has a level of 510 feet (160 m). The lake was created by Alabama Power by use of the Smith Lake Dam. The largest earthen dam in the eastern United States, it stretches 2,200 feet (670 m) in length and reaches a maximum height of 300 feet (91 m). Construction began on November 25, 1957, and the dam entered service on September 5, 1961. Nearby towns include Bremen, Crane Hill and Dodge City in Cullman County; Curry and Jasper in Walker County; and Addison, Arley, and Double Springs in Winston County. It is the second-cleanest lake in America, behind Lake Tahoe.

Cullman County

Cullman County was established by German American immigrants from Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1877. They founded an agricultural community and sought to create an agricultural revolution in what had been a frontier area, in the best traditions of innovation in the New South. However, hard geographical and social realities clashed with the often impractical vision of colonizer John G. Cullmann. His Germans, with their traditional work ethic and willingness to experiment with such new products as wine and strawberries, did try to make practical changes in southern farming. The Germans were however outnumbered by more traditional families from neighboring regions, who replicated the traditional southern cotton culture.

Cities & Towns

Walker County

Walker County was established on December 26, 1823, and formed from sections of Marion and Tuscaloosa counties. It was named after Senator John Walker, who represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate from 1819 to 1822. Jasper is the county seat, named after William Jasper, a Red Stick War hero from South Carolina.

Walker County has sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the Bankhead HouseBoshell’s Mill, the First United Methodist Church of Jasper, the Gilchrist House, the Jasper Downtown Historic District, the Stephenson House, and Walker County Hospital.

Cities & Towns

Winston County

During the American Civil War, Winston County gained attention for its opposition to secession, a sentiment so strong that the county is sometimes referred to as the Republic of Winston. The county today plays on its reputation as the “Free State of Winston” to attract tourists. The county’s opposition to the Confederacy is briefly mentioned in the novels To Kill a Mockingbird and Addie Pray. Tap Roots, a 1948 movie based on a novel, presents a highly fictionalized and inaccurate version of Winston County’s Civil War history.

Winston County has four sites listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesArcheological Site No. 1WI50Feldman’s Department Store, the Houston Jail, and the Winston County Courthouse.

Cities & Towns