Ever wonder how Lakeshore Parkway got its name? After all, there’s no lake anywhere near the road.
Early last century, developers looked at Shades Valley and concluded they could sell houses and attract businesses if only there was something to draw people away from Birmingham. They decided a lake would do the trick.
In 1913, construction began on a dam where Columbiana Road crosses Shades Creek. By the end of the decade, Edgewood Lake had grown to just over 117 acres. It was stocked with bass and bream and frequented by fishers and boaters. Since driving was becoming the national pastime, a racetrack was partially constructed around the lake. Part of the racecourse later became Lakeshore Parkway. Other attractions included a swimming pool and dance pavilion. People bought houses, businesses sprang up, and the town of Edgewood was established.
The lake was there for several decades, but managing it was difficult. During droughts, it would dry up, and during periods of heavy rain, the dam would be overwhelmed. By the 1940s, Jefferson County owned the property, but by 1946, it had given up on maintaining the lake. Development was then allowed on the former lake bed.