Thank you for visiting the Lynch Coal House which really is our home but we liked the name and decided to keep it. We are part of a coal mining community in the mountains of Kentucky where coal production has been a way of life for the majority of us for years.
     Our home is approximately 86 years old.  It was once a duplex.  We knocked out the walls to make it one large house which is still not very large due to the rooms being boxy.  The rooms are smaller than your newer homes today averaging in size of around approximately 10' x 13'.  The older coal mining homes in Lynch, Kentucky were built by U.S. Steel Corporation.  U.S. Steel was a company who cared about families and made sure their workers were taken care of.
     My husband worked for U.S. Steel and then for Arch of Kentucky and presently for Cumberland River Coal in southwest Virginia.  He works very hard and his hands are rough and scarred by the years of working on heavy machinery and dealing with coal.  We have visited churches (my husband is also an evangelist) and children have asked my husband why his hands are dirty. We just smile and tell them his hands are clean, they just look dirty.  Isn't it amazing how giving simple and direct answers satisfies a child's curiosity.  In the winter time we use a lot of lotion on his hands due to their cracking from dry air and the cold.  Some times his hands may bleed from the drying out winter brings with it.  At night I try to persuade him to use vaseline on his hands and sleep in cotton gloves but he will not have it.  It must be a "macho man thing" haha! 

     We live in the valley at the foot of the largest mountain in the state of Kentucky.  Black Mountain is approximately 4,145 feet.  It is approximately seven miles up one side and seven miles down the other side.  Black Mountain joins Kentucky and Southwest Virginia.   My favorite times on the mountain is the beginning of spring and the beginning of fall even though we cross the mountain several times a week.  My husband crosses it daily going to and from work.

     On the next page you will have the opportunity to read another one of my poems that I was inspired to write while standing on top of Black Mountain one evening.  If I remember correctly, it was in the early part of Fall.  The air is so clean and pure or at least it was before strip mining began on the mountain.  You can view the VA mountains and see all God's beauty at its best.  If you have not crossed Black Mountain, it's a trip you should plan but with fair warning.  Be careful with the size of your vehicle.  The curves can be very tight and you may just meet a coal truck or logging truck in a curve and someone
must give the right away.  Guess who it won't be?? The logging trucks!  It's not easy for them to back up an 18 wheeler around such a curve.  They need and deserve the right away.  Most of the  truckers are very courteous, few are not but just the same I'm sure it's not a joy to maneuver such a large vehicle up or down the mountain without some sort of concern.  Brakes are really put to the test on the mountain.  Since we travel it so frequently we find it best to put your gear in 3rd and go easy on your brakes.  But if you choose to ride your brakes then  we do have local auto stores who will be glad to sell you a set or two before you leave town.  haha!

     Our town is a quaint little town with one gas station/store.  We are portrayed as very poor and our worst homes are shown in videos or news clips  to bring monies into the mountains.  We do suffer economically but we are not as poor as some would like you to think we are.  We are a hard working people with pride for our community.  I can't speak for those who are on welfare but can say we are not the only area who have people on welfare, some need it and some abuse it.  That is true everywhere, don't you think?

     If you ever want to get away to a smaller town, please consider visiting our area and staying in the quaint little inn, School House Inn,  in Benham, Kentucky which was previously a grade school.     We have the Coal Mining Museum in Benham and Portal 31 in Lynch which will offer you some history of our area.   We also have Kingdom Come State Park in the neighboring town of Cumberland that you will enjoy immensely.

     I do not work at any of the places nor do I get paid to promote these places but it's my town, my area, it's part of my heritage and  I'd like to share them with you. 

     We may be portrayed  in a bad light but come see for yourself and I assure you that you will be pleased to know we are a literate people who care for neighbors and visitors alike. 

     We've enjoyed sharing a little knowledge with you.

John and Darlene
"The Lynch Coal House"
Copyright 2004-2007  Darlene Monhollen