In May 1939, photographer John Vachon visited the coal-mining town of Kempton, Maryland-West Virginia when the miners were on a 30-day strike before their annual contract was renewed.
The song below, We Done Quit, was sung by Sam Johnson and recorded by George G. Korson at the Scott’s Mine in West Virginia in 1940. This song was sung by Scott’s Run, West Virginia coal miners during the 1930 strike. (from Library of Congress)
Coal miner at home during May 1939 strike Kempton, West Virginia
Coal miners, Kempton, West VirginiaCoal miners hanging around company store during strike. Kempton, West Virginia
This old miner was living in a company house, rent-free. He was injured while working in the mines and had been unable to work since. The company provides him free housing, and he lived on here, depending mainly on neighbors for food. Kempton, West Virginia
Boardwalk on the only street in town
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