Barthell Coal Mining Camp, Barthell, Kentucky

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Old Coal Train

Barthell Coal Mining Camp is located in Barthell, Kentucky. The camp was in operation from 1902 to 1948. There was a 2 to 4 foot seam of coal that ran throughout the mountain, at least 12 miles of it, the depth at which this company mined.  The seams of coal had a bright yellow and orange seam that ran through it. The yellow was sulfur, the orange was iron. Inside the mine you will see a lot of different things and many of which grows along the roof lines. Bacteria of many kinds grow in the dark and moist mine. Some of which have not been recognized to scientist. The coal cars still loaded full of coal remain inside the mine was once carted out by welsh ponies.

Kentucky Coal Car

At the entry of the mine was a board that held gold colored tags, each numbered for the miners inside. Their daily routine was to hang their tag on the board when they entered the mine and remove it when they left for the day. At the end of each shift a supervisor would check the board for any remaining tags.  This would let him know if the mine was empty or miners remained inside.

General Store

On this camp site you will find a Doctor’s Office, Bathhouse, Barber shop, Machine shop, General Store and many more. Inside each building displays original pieces of history.  The School and Church were located in the same building, the school on one side the church on the other.  The Barber I was told also pulled teeth and was considered a general dentist in those days. The Barber symbol with its red and white stripes hung neatly above the barber chair. The color of red stands for blood and the white stands for sterile. To learn such a small piece of information made all the history surrounding me even more interesting. This is an amazing coal camp with so much to see.  Check out their link and the points of interest for more information

Coal Mining Camp Businesses

The pictures posted here and the information listed on this website and theirs, does not do this mining camp justice. It’s so much more.  Take time out of your busy schedule and check it out. You won’t regret it. Cabins are available for rent.


About kentuckyheir

Photographer, traveler and born to succeed!
This entry was posted in Appalachia, Barthell Coal Mining Camp, Coal, Kentucky, Kentucky Scenery, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Barthell Coal Mining Camp, Barthell, Kentucky

  1. i love to look at the old picures of some things i remember in barthell as a little girl.
    my dad worked all his life in the mine there. william s jeffers, i am the oldest daughter of william and rosa halloway, jeffers, i am from a family of 8 living brothers and sisters. i do wish i could see a picture of the big house that set on on the very end of the camp. it had two large porches. my brother kenneth jeffers comes to barthell. once in a while. i cannot travel there. i’m in my seventies now. if you have any pictures of the house i would love to see it. and so would my oldest brother clinton jeffers. [big jeff]but the pictures you have especially the old cabinet looks like the one my mom owned and she brought to michigan with her. long since fell apart. i guess. thank you
    dorris v jones

    • jessica Johnson says:

      I am the Great Great Grand Daughter of William S. Jeffers, their Daughter was Joanne Jeffers Moore. My mother is Brenda Dickerson Riggs. My name is Jessica L Reader Johnson

  2. kentuckyheir says:

    Thank You for the comment. I will look through all of my photos to see if I happen to have one. If so, I will post it for you.

  3. Chris Cundiff says:

    I love the photos you have posted on your site. I live in Massachusetts now, but my Grandmother is from Somerset and I used to live in Nicholasville, so I love to see pictures from the area. I toured Barthell Mining camp a few years ago and your photos definitly do it justice. It is a beautiful area. I really like the photos you posted from Blue Heron, just down the tracks as well. The South Fork is a very beautiful area and I wished I lived close enough to visit more often. Thanks for sharing them!

  4. Unhappy visitor says:

    I got more out of your article than I did visiting the place. On top of being tough to find, when we got their the staff was rude and told us we would have to wait 90 minutes for one of their tours which were every 2 hours. I would recommend folks read this and avoid the trip.

  5. kentuckyheir says:

    I don’t rent cabins. You’ll need to go to their website and contact them. I only do photo shoots. Thanks!

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