Martin is about seven miles south of Prestonsburg on Beaver Creek at the mouth of Bucks Branch. It was an early twentieth century coal mining town originally known as Bucks Branch, but the name Martin was in use by about 1915, for Martin Van Allen, the local postmaster. The Bucks Branch post office opened in 1910, was renamed Smalley in 1913 for Smalley Crisp, a landowner in the area, and finally named Martin in 1926. Martin was incorporated in 1920.
I have a weird fascination with this lake and the way the community was that sat here before its construction. Today I traced the road leading up to where the old elementary school is to the end of the water as far as I could as it sinks into the lake. Much to my surprise I was able to clearly make out what appears to be a bridge pier underneath the water.
You can clearly make out the natural lay of the land while the water is this low. You can also see where the road originally crossed the river. I wish that I could find some good photos of this area before the lake was built. My parents have told me countless times things like “and this is where Creed Smith’s store was” or, “this is where Creed Smith lived” or “….and Mrs Ball lived right over there”. I have a mental image in my head of the area, but I would still love to see it.
So many times we take things that are all around us for granted. No better example of me doing this, is Martins Fork Lake. On a nice clear day, the water is as blue as can be and the sand is white as snow.