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.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Highland Lake recorded a population of 396. Of that number, 96.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.5 percent as two or more races, and 0.8 percent as African American. The town’s median household income was $52,000, and the per capita income was $29,431.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Highland Lake was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services, and health care and social assistance (29.3 percent)
- Construction (12.1 percent)
- Manufacturing (10.0 percent)
- Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (10.0 percent)
- Retail trade (7.9 percent)
- Public administration (7.1 percent)
- Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (5.7 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (5.0 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing and utilities (4.3 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.6 percent)
- Wholesale trade (2.9 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.4 percent)
- Information (0.7 percent)
Students in Highland Lake attend Blount County schools; no public schools are located in town.
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.
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.