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Lover’s Leap

28 August 2005

No, I wasn’t feeling lonely or depressed last Friday… I just had a few moments to kill on my way to a meeting south of town. I figured it’d be worth a stop to take a few photographs of Lover’s Leap in the Bluff Park area of Hoover, Alabama.

Lover's Leap signTo find it, first head to Tip Top Grill (see photo above) along Shades Crest in the Bluff Park area of Hoover.

    The poetic lines inscribed on the boulder below is a replica of those carved in 1827 by Thomas W Farrar. Thomas W. Farrar was the Founder and first Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Alabama 1821-22-24. This historical site donated to the public by Jonas W. Schwab in 1935. The work was done and fence provided by Thomas W. Martin and George B. Ward.

To the left of the sign is a stacked-stone series of steps leading down to the area. As you work your way down the steps, you’ll see a wroght-iron fence proteting the area with the etched poem. I didn’t get the text written down and it wasn’t easily photographed, sorry.

Here’s a 360 (well, close) degree view of the area at the bottom of the stairs.

LoversLeap360

I thought it’d be fun to see what a bird sitting in the trees would see if they were looking back at the fenced-off area. Here’s the picture:

No one is known to have ever actually jumped, but here’s a vertical panaromic picture of the drop-off just to get the proper perspective:

LoversLeap vertical drop

It’s possible to climb down below the drop. No, repelling is explicitly not allowed. I didn’t have time to properly explore, but here’s a picture of what I did see. If I were only a bit more adventurous (and didn’t have to work for a living) I’d find out what that ledge was all about.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 September 2005 10:54 pm

    I am so glad I found your blog. Do you mind if I link to you? Looking at your beautiful photos made me more homesick for Bama.

  2. 11 September 2005 11:12 pm

    Welcome home, so to speak! Be sure to view a great archive of “Magic City” photographs at http://www.flickr.com/groups/magic_city/

  3. 19 September 2005 10:11 pm

    I want to kick my own butt sometimes. I lived in Birmingham 28 years (I’m only 29) and never went there eventhough I lived in Homewood. Somebody slap me.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    10 November 2005 7:31 pm

    I found an old photo (1920-1926) in my mother’s album. It was identified as Lover’s Leap, B’ham, Al. She went to school at Shades Cahaba High School around 1926 so I just wanted to see what this natural wonder looked like. Thanks for posting this.
    Rebecca

  5. 15 November 2005 2:39 pm

    Would love to post a scanned image of the 1920-ish photo on this page! Please email to curtis at curtispalmer dot com at your leisure.

  6. Josh permalink
    4 July 2007 6:21 pm

    I grew up 1/4 mile from there. I remeber when tip top was a gas station and there was not a black fence. I have been there many of times.

  7. janet permalink
    12 July 2007 1:55 pm

    I was raised on Shades Mtn and have seen many sunrises/sets there. Was kissed there some too. 🙂
    I am looking for someone who has any knowledge of the old Linger Longer Lodge (built in 1920’s) that was situated on Shades Crest Rd where the Alford Ave exit at I-65 is currently. I lived in that lodge in the 60’s and I believe it was owned by the Jebeles family. My father used to hold antique car shows in our yard. The lot was surrounded like that of an island by Berry Rd and Shades crest Rd. Please let me know if you have any photos of that wonderful place or know where I can find some. I have so many wonderful childhood memories from there and would love to have a photo.
    Thank you and be blessed!
    Janet

    • Daniel Drennen permalink
      17 July 2009 2:24 pm

      Janet,

      I believ we were in the same class at Shades Mountain Elementary School. If I remember correectly at that time you did live there. To my memory a fellow student named Molly Pike owned the lodge. I have some recollections of going there after it was abandoned and ready for distruction because of the interstate. At one time I had the old hotel register and a couple of light fixtures from the outside. My grandparents told me, and my parents too, that the lodge was a get away from the bad air in Bham. It was a cool (tempperature wise) spot with a nice breeze. Made of rock and stone and a nice rock wall around it. I also remember reading or being told that during the depression and prohibition it ws a popular spot for some illegal booze and gambling. I only have pictures of it in my mind.

      • Robert Stewart permalink
        8 August 2012 6:28 pm

        Not sure if this reply will still find its way after so much time, but we are researching history of the Shades Cliff area including the Linger Longer Lodge, and would love to get a copy of anything relating to old guest registers for the Lodge.

    • Shirley Skelton Vines permalink
      3 January 2013 4:54 pm

      My parents moved to Bluff Park in 1947 ( I was 14 months old). There were about 13 houses on the mountain. My brothers, sister and I all went to Bluff Park Elem. There was NO Alford Ave until around 1952 or 1953. My parents bought a house that was going to be in middle of Alford Ave & it was joined to our house. Alford Ave went in front of our house. I still have a brother & sister that currently live at the same address. We all have many memories & tales of growing up in Bluff Park!!!!

  8. Stan permalink
    29 June 2008 10:25 pm

    Janet, From 1953 – ’64 I lived on Alford between Sumpter St. and Berry (before I-65). My recollection was that the remanants of the old Lodge swimming pool was still in the back yard of the current owner’s home just above our house on Shades Crest. I can’t recall the name of that family, but the name you gave does not sound correct.

  9. Sandy permalink
    2 February 2009 2:08 pm

    Inscribed on Sunset Rock:

    “To sit on rocks, to muse o’er flood and fell,
    Slowly to trace the forests shady scene
    Where things that own not man’s dominion dwell
    And mortal foot hath ne’er, or rarely been.”

    August 20th.
    1827

    Thomas W. Farrar – Seraphine F. Farrar.

  10. 18 May 2009 9:21 pm

    I love this place, my boyfriend and I escape here as much as possible. We just spent our Year and a half anniversary there today 🙂 We love exploring, we may only be 19 and 20… but it makes us feel like little tikes again 😀

  11. Daniel J. Drennen permalink
    9 August 2012 7:02 am

    Robert, your email did find me. Unfortunately the register was destroyed in the early eighties during a rain event. I was really bumed about it. It was full of names.

    I would like to get up with you, if you think I could add anything to the history. While at Birmingham Southern College in the 70″s I did a narrative history based on the economy of the area. I interviewed several of the home owners who were very elderly. I also had some interesting tidbits. I cant gaurantee that I can find the paper but Ill look. At one time I had some interesting source material. Im from the area and have family still around Shades Mt Elementary School. Currently I live in Jackson MS but am in Bham a lot. Im a biologist and I have an interest in the springs of the area (Hale).

    • Robert Stewart permalink
      10 August 2012 6:28 am

      Daniel. Please let us know when you plan to be in Birmingham next time and we will see if we can link up. I also attended BSC in the mid 70s. My wife and I live in rhe house that my grandparents lived in for years up on the Crest not far from Shades Mountain Elementary.
      Robert

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