Kentucky Coal Museum

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Kentucky Coal Museum
KY Coal Mining Museum.png
Established May 1994
Location 231 Main Street, Benham, Kentucky 40807
Coordinates 36°57′51″N 82°57′04″W / 36.964081°N 82.951130°W / 36.964081; -82.951130
Type Heritage center
Visitors 30,000 (approx.)[1]
Director Johnny Coppinger
Curator Phyllis Sizemore
Website Kentucky Coal Museum & Portal 31

The Kentucky Coal Museum is heritage center located in Benham, Kentucky. Its focus is the history of the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky, featuring specific exhibits on the company towns of Benham and neighboring Lynch. It is housed in a former company store that was built by International Harvester in 1923. In June 1990, the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce purchased the building for the future site of the museum. After receiving additional grants from the state of Kentucky, the museum opened in May 1994.[2]

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum features exhibits on a miner's home, a company hospital, commissary, and school; engineering, coal sampling, a mock mine tour and the Loretta Lynn "Coal Miner's Daughter" exhibit.[3]

In 2009, the museum began to coordinate tours of the nearby Portal 31 Mine, which opened in 1917 in Lynch, Kentucky. The thirty-minute tour of the mine involves eight stops that chronologically depict a different era in coal mining, ranging from the 1910s to present-day.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Alford, Roger (October 21, 2009). "Kentucky Hopes For Big Haul From Coal Mine Tourism". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  2. ^ History of the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum Retrieved on 2010-11-10
  3. ^ Kentucky Coal Museum Kentucky Tourism. Retrieved on 2010-11-10

External links[edit]