Black Coal Miner Memorial.

Black Coal Miner Memorial

Field review by the editors.

Lynch, Kentucky

Lynch was once the largest "coal camp" in the world, a company-owned town of 10,000, crammed with miners of 38 different nationalities. But as the population of immigrant miners declined, especially during World War II, the company recruited African-Americans from the Deep South to work the mines. According to several plaques at the Black Coal Miner Memorial in Lynch, the "recruitment" sometimes involved bundling miners, their wives, and children into cars and trucks and racing away from their white-owned sharecropper farms.

Coal mining was dangerous and could be fatal, but it paid a decent wage, and after the union arrived in 1937 it became mostly color-blind. "Underground, the fella next to you had to look out for you and save your life if need be," reads one of the inscriptions on the monument. "It didn't matter what color he was."

Black Coal Miner Memorial

Pirate Way, Lynch, KY
Downtown, on the north side of KY-160/Main St. and Pirate Way. There are memorials on both ends of a large brick building, the Lynch Colored Public School.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Portal 31: Dark Ride Mine TourPortal 31: Dark Ride Mine Tour, Lynch, KY - < 1 mi.
Stone Face Rock with Nonoffensive NameStone Face Rock with Nonoffensive Name, Pennington Gap, VA - 14 mi.
Natural Tunnel State ParkNatural Tunnel State Park, Duffield, VA - 21 mi.
In the region:
Feudists On Trial (Hanging Site), Pikeville, KY - 42 mi.

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January 26, 2020

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