Martin and Lawrence Counties

Nov. 2007 image by author
Company store/offices and coal camp houses at Himlerville, KY, founded in 1921 by Hungarian immigrant Martin Himler as an all-Hungarian coal mining operation. Himler Coal Co. closed the mines in 1929, but other companies later mined coal at this location.

Nov. 2007 image by author
Himlerville was renamed Beauty, KY in 1930, as is noted on the church. Martin Himler's mansion sits on the hill behind the store and church. This once beautiful residence is now abandoned.

Nov. 2007 image by author
A closer look at the abandoned Himler Mansion.

Circa 1921 Coal Age image via Google Books
This was the Board of Directors of the Himler Coal Co. co-op. Martin Himler is indicated by a red arrow. As Coal Age described, "Stock in the company is sold only to Hungarians, native or naturalized. One of the bylaws of the company provides, however, that no stockholder may seek employment with the company until he has undertaken naturalization as an American Citizen. According to Martin Himler, president of the company, no stockholder in the company has yet arrived in America without a firm resolution to become an American citizen as promptly as the laws will permit."

Circa 1921 Coal Age image via Google Books
This was the Himler Coal Company's tipple. The Himlerville mine was in the Warfield (aka No. 2 Gas) coal seam.


Perry and Knott Counties

Image courtesy of Mick Vest
A few remaining coal company homes constructed by the Hardy Burlington Coal Company in Hardburly, KY. According to Kencuky Coal Education, Hardburly was opened in 1931, which would be a very late date to construct an Appalachian mining town.

1970s image by James Blair
Mid-20th Century view of Hardburly, Kentucky.

1986 image by Stuart Taylor
This was the tipple that stood at Bulan, KY. Historian George Torok in 2004 wrote, "The only surviving wooden tipple of significant size in the region is the Ajax tipple in Perry County." About the Ajax tipple Christopher Coleman writes, "This is the largest surviving wooden tipple in Eastern Kentucky and is located on your left so watch closely for it. You'll have to park and walk back behind the treeline for a good view but you will not be disappointed ... It basically looks like a giant wood box with windows sitting on many round, wooden post with a long conveyor running up from a truck-dump. Sounds fairly plain but this tipple has a personality that will take you back to an infant coal industry." Too bad it burned down in early 2007, allegedly leaving Eastern Kentucky with no vintage wooden coal tipples. What a sad state of affairs for industrial preservation.

Image courtesy of Mick Vest
These coal camp houses built circa 1919 by the Ajax Coal Co. do remain at Bulan, KY.

Sep. 1940 image by Marion Post Wolcott, Library of Congress
1940 picture of an abandoned coal tipple, with coal camp in background, near Chavies, KY.

Image by Butch
Abandoned cut stone company store in Leatherwood, Perry County. Blue Diamond Coal Co. opened the Leatherwood mines in the 1920's, and at one time 650 were employed there.

1920s image from "Coal Industry In Kentucky"
Students in front of the school provided by the coal company at Storm King, Ketucky.


McCreary, Pulaski, and Wayne Counties

2000 image by Mick Vest
Mining historian Mick sends this photo he took in Stearns, KY and titles it "Stearns, KY downtown." He notes that the town was founded in 1902 by Justus S. Stearns. While the author has not yet visited Stearns, it seems like a "tourist coal camp" (replete with a reconstructed tipple), which isn't a bad idea.

2000 image by Mick Vest
Another photo by Mick Vest is the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company office, which is now the McCreary County Museum. Mick writes, "The Stearns Coal and Lumber Company was sold to The Blue Diamond Coal Company in 1976. The last coal was shipped in 1987."

National Park Service image
Abandoned coal tipple at Blue Heron, KY. This was another Stearns Coal and Lumber Company mine that closed in 1962. Amazingly, this tipple has been rebuilt as a tourist attraction, and is part of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, where the National Park Service is interpreting the coal heritage of the Blue Heron coal camp ruins. (This is similar to what they have done in Nuttallburg, WV.)



JELLICO COALFIELD (Whitley County and Campbell County, TN)

EASTERN KENTUCKY COALFIELD (Leslie, Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliot, Morgan, Magoffin, Breathitt, etc. Counties)