On Aug. 25, 1911, a Friday, a Louisville & Nashville locomotive steamed away from a tipple in a hollow in Harlan County with a load of coal bound for Western Kentucky, and the county changed dramatically, forever. It was the first commercial coal shipment by rail out of the mountainous county. Within a few short years, a sparsely populated place that had long been defined by subsistence farming was transformed into an industrial society largely controlled by the coal industry.
100 Years of Coal Mining in Harlan
By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader • Aug 21, 2011