Great photographs of Kempton coal miners of Maryland-West Virginia from 1939

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 miner during May 1939 strike. Kempton, West Virginia

Coal miner and wife, Kempton, West VirginiaCoal miner and wife, Kempton, West Virginia

Coal miner with wife and neighbor. Kempton, West VirginiaCoal miner with wife and neighbor. Kempton, West Virginia

Coal miners, Kempton, West VirginiaCoal miner, Kempton, West VirginiaCoal miner, Kempton, West Virginia2Coal miner, Kempton, West Virginia3Coal miner, Kempton, West Virginia5Coal miner, Kempton, West Virginia6Coal miner. Kempton, West Virginia7Coal miners hanging around company store during strike. Kempton, West VirginiaCoal miners hanging around company store during strike. Kempton, West VirginiaMiners in company store. Kempton, West Virginia

Miners playing cards during May 1939 coal strike. Kempton, West VirginiaMiners playing cards during May 1939 coal strike. Kempton, West Virginia

This old miner was living in company house, rent free. He was injured while working in the mines and had been unable to work since. Company provides him free housing, and he lived on here, depending mainly on neighbors for food. Kempton, West Virginia

Old miner living in company house, rent free. He was injured while working in the mines several years ago, has been unable to work since. Company provides Kempton, West Virginia

Old miner living in company town. Kempton, West Virginia

Striking coal miners in front of company store. Kempton, West VirginiaStriking coal miners in front of company store. Kempton, West Virginia

Striking coal miners sitting on the boardwalk, during May 1939 coal strike. Kempton, West VirginiaStriking coal miners sitting on the boardwalk, during May 1939 coal strike. Kempton, West Virginia

Boardwalk on the only street in town

Boardwalk, Kempton, West Virginia

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Where Do I Start?: HINTS and TIPS for BEGINNING GENEALOGISTS with ONLINE RESOURCE (Paperback)

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