These photographs depict the type life Loretta Lynn sings about [pics & film]

The Kempton, Maryland-West Virginia coal mine has been abandoned.

None of the miners were expecting it

In early April 1950 a notice was placed in the window at the company store that the mines would close in a week. None of the miners were expecting this.

“At midnight April 15, 1950, the Buxton & Landstreet Company store and the Davis Coal & Coke Company’s Mine Forty-two at Kempton, Maryland, ceased operations.  Kempton was mortally wounded that night and died forty-two days later when its economic lifeblood, the company scrip now worthless was collected and tossed down the 480-foot mineshaft. Black earth was bulldozed over the opening and the town dump erected above it as a tombstone. The token profits reaped by the company store were returned to their source.” (allenbrowne.blogspot.com)

Beautiful pictures of past days

Thankfully, photographer, John Vachon, took these beautiful photographs of some of the families in May 1939 to record their place in history. When I look at these pictures, I was reminded of Loretta Lynn’s song, I’m proud to be a coal miner’s daughter. No matter how difficult their lives, these hard-working men managed to eke out a life for their families and become the backbone of our country. Be sure to play Loretta Lynn’s song, while you look at these photographs. Through her words, you’ll feel the strength and pride of these great Americans.

Father and daughter, Kempton, West Virginia

Father and daughter, Kempton, West Virginia

Italian coal miner with his grandchild, Kempton, West Virginia

Italian coal miner with his grandchild, Kempton, West Virginia

Wife of coal miner with grandchild. Kempton, West VirginiaWife of coal miner with grandchild. Kempton, West Virginia

Mother and Child company-owned coal town, Kempton, West Virginiamother and child company-owned coal town, Kempton, West Virginia

Wife and son of coal miner in their home. Kempton, West VirginiaWife and son of coal miner in their home. Kempton, West Virginia

Family of coal miner in their home. Kempton, West Virginiaoal miner and family, residents of company town. Kempton, West Virginia

One family, The Blizzard family (shown below) was identified by John Vachon in the photographs. They seemed to have had a rough time of it when you look at how the children are dressed.  You can read more about this family at here

George Blizzard, a coal miner in Kempton, West Virginia

George Blizzard, coal miner in Kempton, West Virginia

The Blizzard family, Kempton, West VirginiaThe Blizzard family, Kempton, West Virginia

Son of the Blizzard family, Kempton, West VirginiaSon of the Blizzard family, Kempton, West VirginiaWife, and son of  Blizzard family coal miner in the kitchen of their home. Kempton, West VirginiaWife and son of coal miner in kitchen of their home. Kempton, West VirginiaWife and children of Blizzard family. Kempton, West VirginiaWife and children of coal miner. Kempton, West Virginia

Wife and two children of George Blizzard, striking coal miner. Kempton, West VirginiaWife and two children of George Blizzard, striking coal miner. Kempton, West Virginia

The Blizzard family, residents of coal mining town. Kempton, West VirginiaThe Blizzard family, residents of coal mining town. Kempton, West Virginia

Child of George Blizzard, Coal miner, Kempton, West VirginiaChild of coal miner. Kempton, West Virginia

Feet of children of George Blizzard, Coal miner, Kempton, West VirginiaFeet of children of George Blizzard, Coal miner, Kempton, West Virginia

Daughter of George Blizzard, coal miner, Kempton, West Virginia
Daughter of George Blizzard, coal miner, Kempton, West Virginia

Daughter of George Blizzard, coal miner, Kempton, West VirginiaDaughter of George Blizzard, Kempton, West Virginia

 

SOURCES

  1. Library of Congress  ( Farm Security Administration)
  2. Eightsteeples.com 

CLICK TO SEE MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF KEMPTON COAL MINERS

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