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These coal camp houses at Closplint, KY are well preserved. The Clover Splint Coal Company (hence Closplint) constructed this coal town and coal mine in 1926. That is kind of a late date for a coal company town, and it shows in the "enlightened" and "reformed" arrangement of these company houses. Closplint mines were served by the L&N railroad.
Ruins of the U.S. Coal and Coke Co. coal preparation facility in Lynch, KY. U.S. Coal and Coke was a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. All of the coal mined in Lynch by that company went to U.S. Steel's coke ovens in Gary, Indiana, a city on the edge of the Chicago metro area. On the left of this photo is what is probably the blending bins, in the center is what's left of the prep plant, and on the right was the power house and silo.
When the Lynch preparation plant was built in 1920 a steel structure sit on top of the concrete section. Though the preparation of U.S. Steel's coal was transferred to a newer plant at Corbin in 1955, the Lynch plant continued to serve as a loadout until 1991.
Lamp house No. 1 and one of the portals for Mine No. 30 at Lynch. The No. 31 portal and Lamp house No. 2 are on the other side of the hollow, and are now tourist attractions.
This was the bathhouse at Lynch. Interestingly enough, it was originally a racially segregated bathhouse. At the far end of the bathhouse was a section housing the engineering and payroll departments of the coal company.
The former U.S. Coal and Coke Company store in Lynch. Boarded up windows are probably evidence that bored, misguided kids have nothing better to do than break windows. The high school and grade schools, also made out cut stone, have suffered a similar fate.
Still many nice homes built by U.S. Coal and Coke remain in Lynch to this day. Lynch was allegedly the largest coal company town in the nation. Whether or not that was true (the combined Gary, WV camps seem larger to me), it certainly was a major company town. At it's peak 10,000 people called Lynch home. Now there are less than 800 residents in Lynch. So it has lost over 90% of its population. Lynch still has a municipal government, but recent news articles about the town indicate that it is deeply in debt.
Large company-built homes for the miners in Lynch, KY.
These two story duplex homes in West Lynch are simalar to the ones in U.S. Steel mining towns in Pennsylvania and McDowell County, West Virginia.
The sign on a former school building in West Lynch recalls a strange era in American history.
The former hospital and Resurrection Catholic Church in Lynch.
Even the post office in Lynch was created from cut stone, like the bathhouse, company stores, and schools. I think the company believed that they would be here for 200 years. Once there was a bank in the post office building, but it now seems that most commercial businesses have left Lynch.
Downtown Benham, KY was a coal company town built by Wisconsin Steel Company, which was a subsidiary of International Harvester. Kentucky did not have as many beehive coke ovens as West Virginia or Pennsylvania, but there were once coke ovens at Benham.
The former company store in Benham, KY is now the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum.
Some of the coal camp houses in Benham. Wisconsin Steel constructed the town between 1911 and 1919.
Smaller company built houses in Benham. The Benham mines were still owned and operated by International Harvester in the 1970s, but by the time the mines closed in the 1980s, they were run by Arch of Kentucky.
Totz, KY coal camp with the blue coal preparation plant in the background. Companies such as Harlan-Cumberland Coal Mining Company and Harlan Central Coal Company have operated the Totz coal mines.
In 1947 Stonega Coal and Coke opened the Glenbrook mine in Harlan County, with the workers living in Virginia in newly constructed houses built by the coal company. In 2007 the Glenbrook prep plant is still in existence. Though it is idle, the guards at the guard shack won't let anyone get by them, forcing photographers to take a picture of the 60 year old coal plant through the trees on the mountain above.
This is a rare scatter tag from the Glenbrook mine. Scatter tags were mixed in with loads of coal in the mid 20th Century to advertise the coal company or brand name. Here the tag advertises the mine, but some coals had brand names, like Consol's "Cavalier" coal in Jenkins, KY, North West Fuel Company's "Grenadier" coal from Auxier, KY, Island Creek Coal's "Scarlet Flame" coal at Scarlet, WV, and Raleigh Coal and Coke's "Black Knight" coal in Raleigh, WV. In that case, if the coal company used scatter tags (not all did), the brand name of the coal was often printed on the carboard or aluminum tags.
APPALACHIAN COALFIELDS HOME
History of coal mining. History of Kentucky. History of Harlan County Kentucky. History of Letcher County Kentucky. History of Harlan. Coal Seam geology. Historic Pictures. Historic Photographs. Historic books. Historic Maps and geography. Kentucky history publications. History. West Virginia immigrants. Appalachian music. Appalachian culture. Bluegrass Music. Patty Loveless. Historic architecture. Historic buildings. Historic towns. Organized labor. Unions. United Mine workers. Archives.