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BROOKSIDE-AGES, KY

Evidently Brookside mines and coal camp were opened by Harlan Collieries Company in 1924. This was a long-lived coal mining operaton that lasted until 1958. I don't know who owned Brookside after 1958, or if it was operational for the next dozen years, but in 1970 Duke Power's subsidiary Eastover Mining Co. purchased the Brookside mine and company town to operate a captive mine for their coal-fired power plants. Under Eastover their was great labor strife. A documentary about the violent Brookside strike of 1973 was documented in the movie "Harlan County U.S.A."


This picture of Brookside is one of the most famous Appalachian coal camp photos of all time. (June 1974 U.S. National Archives image by Jack Corn)


Slightly less than ideal living conditions at Brookside. These houses were still owned by the coal company and rented to their miners in 1973. Although America had sent men to the moon by then, these homes had no running water. (1973 image from "Harlan County USA")


View of the Brookside camp with the tipple in the background. Today there is a ball field and park where these houses used to stand. (1973 image from "Harlan County USA")


At least a portion of the idled colliery that still exists at Brookside was there when Brookside was an Eastover Mining property. (2017 image by author)


Closer view of the Brookside colliery. (2017 image by author)


From right to left: former company store, former saloon, old tipple. (2017 image by author)


The building on the left was a tavern, and on the right was, at one time, a company store. Painted on the old store is a sign for Manalapan Mining Co. This must have been the final coal company at Brookside, and they must have been using this as a mine office. (2017 image by author)


Next door to all of these remains of Brookside are these coal camp houses. But I think this was a separate coal camp called Ages, Kentucky (built by Ages Ridge Coal Co.). The Ages and Brookside post offices were so close that they were combined in 1975 as Ages-Brookside, which is what the community is known as today. (2017 image by author)

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