Barren Fork Coal Camp

Barren Fork Coal Camp postcardThe Barren Fork Coal Camp, located on Stearns Ranger District, was an early eastern Kentucky coal-mining town. For the first half of its history, Barren Fork Coal Camp was located along Railroad Branch. In 1912, the company moved the camp and its tipple to the adjacent ridgetop south. A steam-powered incline moved coal up the steep slope.

Families at Barren Fork Coal CampIn the 1920s, Barren Fork was a noisy self-contained coal community, a place called home to several hundred people. The camp contained a school, church, cemetery, company store with a post office, coal tipple and scales, and a baseball field. Camp residents used two rock shelters along the cliff as places for social gatherings.

Engine at Barren Fork Coal CampIn 1935, the Eagle Coal Company closed the Barren Fork mine after miners voted to join the United Mine Workers of America. Today, remnants of buildings are all that remain of this once active coal community.

Barren Fork Accessible Heritage Trail depicts the area's rich history.

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