TOUR I9 44I
Left from Baxter on an improved road to HARLAN, I m. (1,197 alt., 4,327
pop.), the coal capital of the State, and seat of Harlan County. First called
Mount Pleasant, the town was later renamed to honor Maj. Silas Harlan, who
came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1774, and was killed while leading his com-
mand at the Battle of Blue Licks (August 19, 1782). The town, in the valley be-
tween Big and Little Black Mountains, at the confluence of the three forks of the
upper Cumberland River, was a backwoods village for more than 100 years after
its settlement in 1819 by a small company of Virginians under the leadership of
Samuel Hoard (Howard). Since the coming of the railroad in 1911, the town has
become an important lumber shipping point, as well as the center of an extensive
bituminous and cannel coal area.
Up to 1930 the only labor organization represented in the district was the United
Mine Workers of America. Attempts at unionization had been bitterly contested
by many of the larger operators; great bitterness developed between employers and
employees during the irst widespread strike in 1916. The strike of 1924 closed the
mines of the Black Mountain Coal Corporation, one of the larger operators, result-
ing in considerable suffering among several hundred families dependent on the
mines for a living. In 1931, after the national economic collapse had further re-
duced the market for coal, the employees of the Evarts Coal Company struck to
maintain wage rates that would keep miners from utter destitution. Both sides
resorted to violence, and several miners were killed. The situation was investigated
by a Congressional Committee, and on May 6, 1938, the National Labor Relations
Board began its prosecution of 44 Harlan County coal operators and former deputy
sheriffs (see Tour 4). The trial ended on August 1, 1938, with a hung jury, but
on September 1, 1938, a contract was signed by the Harlan County Coal Oper-
ators’ Association with the United Mine Workers.
The mounds.and rock shelters of this section have yielded many artifacts and
skeletons. The best-known site is a Pimmsromc BURIAL Gxourm on Main St., op- `
posite the hotel. The Evmzsom: COLLECTION or INDIAN Ramos (open on request),
N. Main St., is unusually ine, including pottery, beads, arrowheads, and various
other articles. At the Harlan County Fall Festival, held annually for one week in
September at the HARLAN ARMORY, prize farm products and examples of handi-
craft are exhibited. The latter include articles made on neighboring farms, where
sheep are raised. The farm wives card‘the wool and spin, dye, and weave it into
Between Baxter and Pineville, US 119 is called the Rhododendron
Trail because of the profusion of that shrub along the way; it blooms
from May or early june to late july.
At 165.9 m. is the junction with US 25E (see Tour 4A), at a point
0.4 miles south of Pineville.
- Burnside-—Monticello—Albany—Burkesville——Glasgow; 102.3 m., State
Hard-surfaced roadbed between Burnside and Albany; remainder graveled.
Accommodations in larger towns; limited elsewhere.