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McROBERTS, KENTUCKY

McRoberts was a sister town to Jenkins (as well as Burdine and Dunham). All were built by Consolidation Coal Co. beginning in 1912. All mined the mighty Elkhorn seam of coal, which conveniently outcropped along each side of the hollow. The miners at McRoberts worked in Mines No. 210, 2111, 212, 213, 214, and 215. At one time McRoberts featured schools, a baseball field, a Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot, company store, meat market, filling station, and hotel, among other structures. Now about all that remains are the houses, a few churches, a cemetery, and a whole lot of memories.

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War On Poverty era picture of McRoberts. (1964 image by John Dominis)


Coal company houses at Jenkins. In the red house on the right a little bit of the original wood siding is visible. (Nov. 2016 image by author)


Smaller coal company houses at McRoberts. For some reason Consol called these "portable houses" perhaps because they came mostly assembled on the railroad from an industrial housing manufacturer. (Nov. 2016 image by author)


Back side of portable houses. (Nov. 2016 image by author)


Former superintendent's house. (Nov. 2016 image by author)


McRoberts Cemetery. (Nov. 2016 image by author)


An article in the November 30, 1910 issue of The Coal Trade Journal stated, "The purchase by the Consolidation Coal Co. of Baltimore of 100,000 acres of coal lands in the Elkhorn coking-coal field in eastern Kentucky, and plans for its development on the basis of an annual output of 4,000,000 tons, are of wide importance in that they mark the opening up along broad lines of what is regarded as the largest undeveloped area of the highest grade of coking coal known to exist in the country. The purchase price of this particular tract was $4,500,000. The Louisville & Nashville will spend $5,000,000 to build to it. The company will spend $1,000,000 on a road of its own and ultimately several millions in development work, and other railroad lines will be built. A total investment of $15,000,000 to $20,000,000 will be made, directly and indirectly, as a result of this deal. This property is known to contain nine distinct seams of coal, but in the deal for its purchase its value was based only upon one seam, known as Elkhorn No. 3. This scam has been prospected throughout the property. It shows an average of about 8,000 tons per acre. or an estimated total of 800,000,000 tons, which, at an annual output of 4,000,000 tons, would be sufficient to last for 200 years."

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