Kentucky Coal Museum


Beginning in 1911, mining engineers working on behalf of large manufacturers in the North came to the foothills of Kentucky's famous Black Mountain and developed operations to extract the high-grade bituminous coal. The towns of Benham, home to the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, and Lynch, site of Portal 31, were at the heart of these mining operations. Most of the houses, stores, schools, and churches built here by the coal companies are still standing. Through the museum's exhibits and a tour of Portal 31, visitors can gain an appreciation of the contributions that generations of miners made to the industrialization of 20th century America.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing
Topic(s):Energy
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:In the 1920s, U.S. Coal & Coke Co. owned the world's largest coal tipple, with a capacity of 15,000 tons. On Feb. 12, 1923, miners at Lynch achieved the world's record for coal production in a single 9-hr. shift: 12,820 tons, filling 256 railcars. All the coal produced here by U.S. Coal & Coke was "captive," used solely by U.S. Steel Corp.