In the early days of Hardburly as a mining camp it must have been great living
there from what I've been told. From the stories people have told me, the Camp
offered everything possible for the coalminer and his family. This Camp was like living in town, they didn't have to leave for anything if they didn't want too. The Company provided very well for
the employees and their families.
This I can't remember because my family came when I was 18 months old to live in the Camp. But this was the only place I knew as a small child and I can't remember any other place, except living
in Hardburly Camp on Main Street.
The mining camp at its beginning was called "Old Hardy-Burlingham Mining Company". This was a booming mining camp with everything that was needed and lots more.
The Company had
their office buildings and main office where the mine business affairs were done. This was also used for the mines to collect their earnings for working. There was also the post office, where you
could get your mail and mail out letters and packages in the same building.
The Camp was split up in sections, but I don't know how the hollows and hills got their names that they had.
The main section of the Camp was called Main Street. This was where all the business was taken care of; this was the upper part of Main Street. The lower part was the Commissary store, movie
theatre, Union Hall, poolroom with snack bar, churches, schools, doctor's office and barbershop.
We also had our own sheriff of the Camp.
In the Camp the sidewalks were made of wood. They ran all
the way up to the tipple. There were also wooden steps leading up to the houses on the hill above the commissary. This is where some of the bosses lived.
Across from the houses were the garages
where people like Dr. Jingles and others parked their cars. These had numbers, I'm not sure how many, maybe about twenty separate ones.
L. F. McAfee owned one of the first cars in Hardburly. The
eight-mile drive to the county seat of Hazard was an arduous drive over a winding, narrow dirt road that crossed the railroad tracks at least six times. Most Hardburly residents continued to
travel by train.
At this time there weren't many families that had cars in the camp. As the years passed on though, more people learned to drive.
All the information that I have gathered came from the residents still living in Hardburly. The older
residents that I talked to seemed to really enjoy talking about the way they lived years ago. I was told stories about the Camp and ways of living back then. The
history of the mining camp that I have collected began around the year of 1918, when the Camp was very young and was being formed for miners.
weren't any paved roads or neat yards then, only wagon roads where the wagons traveled. The roads were very dusty and when it rained it got too muddy to travel and walk in. However, these people
were determined to make a better way of life for themselves and their families and they did.
I's very hard to picture in your mind how living
conditions were during this time however, settlers have left a lot of history for us if we only look for it.
There's a lot of people that have
talked with me and some no longer living there, but the ones there yet, like Dill Nucci, Wayne Feltner, and Gilbert Cox, are the oldest men that are left in our Camp now.
These men weren't sure about the exact date the Camp was started, but they seem to agree that it was around 1918. The Camp started with very few houses from what I was told when talking to the people.
These houses were built by several carpenters like Bill Lawson, Silas Combs, Jackie Fugate, and Johnny Combs.
I remember Bill Lawson as if it
were yesterday. He would walk up and down the streets with his toolbox in hand. There were other ones I seemed to recall only as coal miners then.
Sometimes in my mind I can just picture the coal miners going off to work in the coal mines. Where the hours were so long and pay short, but it was a way to take care of their families (most had very large
families). Making sure that their families were very well provided for and seeing that they had a place to sleep and plenty of food to eat.
of everyone's house we had drinking hydrants and long handled pumps that pumped the water out from the pond to be carried into the houses in water buckets.
The entire 135 page manuscript with pictures can be purchased directly from the author: Gladys Potter
Slone, tel. 606-439-2044 or 606-439-0613