More than just a coal camp, Jenkins is an actual town with a municipal government that was built by Consolidation Coal Company starting in 1912. It was to be the company-built hub for surrounding satellite mines of Consol - much in the same manner as Berwind-White Coal Company's Windber, Pa. or U.S. Coal & Coke's Gary, W.Va. Eventually the company-built towns of Jenkins, Burdine, and Dunham stretched for six miles along Elkhorn Creek. On the other side of the mountain from Dunham was another big Consolidation Coal town named McRoberts. A big central tipple was located at Dunham to process all of the coal from Consol's mines in the area and load it onto trains, although there were smaller tipples in the auxiliary coal towns. A central power plant was built at Jenkins to provide electricity for all of these coal towns and mines, but it was demolished in 1988. Also, Consol built a large lake at Jenkins to provide water to its towns, and also for the steam turbines in the central power plant. The people in Burdine, Jenkins, and Dunham worked in Mines No. 201 through 208. Conol's employees on the other side of the mountain in McRoberts mined coal in Mines No. 209-215. Consol called their Letcher County properties Elkhorn Division. (They called their properties in Johnson County, Ky. Millers Creek Division.) In 1956 Consolidation Coal Company solid it's properties around Jenkins to Bethlehem Steel, who operated them as the Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corporation until the 1980s.

Coal company houses at Jenkins. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

The Methodist church in Jenkins is a large structure of masonry construction. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Jenkins Christian Church. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Saint George Catholic Church and rectory in Jenkins. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Three shop buildings in the middle of Jenkins that Consolidate Coal Co. built - the nearest was the oil house, the large one behind the oil house was the supply house, and the one in the back was the machine shop. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Sign on the supply house reads, "Division Shops - Elkhorn Division * Beth-Elkhorn Corp." (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Another sign on the Jenkins shops that probably dates back to the Beth-Elkhorn days. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

This building was once the machine shop for the Jenkins coal mines. Mines 204, 205, and 206 were at Jenkins. 203 was between Jenkins and Burdine.(Nov. 2016 image by author)

Detail of a door on the machine shop. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

A row of coal company houses at Jenkins. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Former union hall for UMWA local 5741. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

The Jenkins train depot has been restored and is now the David A. Zeegar Coal - Railroad Museum. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Burdine was another Consolidation Coal Co. town next to Jenkins. The residents of Burdine worked in Mines No. 201 & 202. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Later a new portal for Mine 204 was constructed in Marshalls Branch hollow on the Letcher - Pike County line. These shop buildings were once part of that Mine 204 complex, and may have been lamp house, bath house, or motor barn. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Vintage photo of the Marshalls Branch portal. (1935 image)

Back side of the Marshalls Branch Mine 204 buildings. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Remaining coal company houses at Dunham. Dunham housed the employees of Mines 206, 207, and 208. It is located on the other side of Jenkins from Burdine.(Nov. 2016 image by author)

Dunham coal camp houses packed tightly into the hollow. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Two shop buildings remain at the site of the Dunham central prep plant. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

A better view of the brick shop building at Dunham. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Consolidation Coal Co. did build parks at some of their company towns, but this park is probably a recent development. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

Another view of the homes built by Conolidation Coal Co. over a century ago at Dunham. (Nov. 2016 image by author)

(Nov. 2016 image by author)

Recommended literature:

"Extracting Appalachia, Images of the Consolidated Coal Company 1910-1945" by Geoffrey L. Buckley (2004, Ohio University Press)

"A Guide To Historic Coal Towns of the Big Sandy River Valley" by George D. Torok (2004 University of Tennesee Press)


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