Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blue Heron Tipple and House

This is a typical picture of the coal mine tipple. It could have been taken in any of the states that had coal mines and camps. It reminds me of the coal camp where I grew up in southern West Virginia in the 40's and 50's. Here is the story of the Blue Heron Mining community in Mccreary County,Kentucky.

Blue Heron created a string of impressions for those who first went there to live or work had moved from other coal camps in the Stearns Company or in the region. When some arrived they thought the landscape was beautiful, but those who were accustomed to the vast expanse of mountains, river and woodlands paid more attention to that all metal tipple and the hope of good mining.
Still others, particularly the women resented the isolation, being too near the tipple, the lack of transportation in and out, and the pervasive dirt and noise of the screening operation. Some had breathing troubles there, but others merely objected to the small size and remoteness of the camp.
Men, more than women, seemed to enjoy it there. It appealed to the mountaineer spirit and the love of tramping the mountains, good friends and the comrade of mining. It meant independence, and good fishing along the river.
Some loved Co-operative camp because it was a clean and "open" feeling camp with more people, more entertainment and activities and more friendliness in general. Other people favored Fidelity because it was a prettier camp but still had the natural wildness associated with Blue Heron, but without the dirt and rattle of the big tipple.
Others admitted Blue Heron’s beauty, some claiming it to be well kept, others saying it was a pretty place with flowers in the yards, vegetable gardens, a few cows and goats kept by some and some of the tree trunks painted to give a sense of brightness to the spot.
No one, however, seemed to prefer it to where they had worked or lived before. When one old timer declared his preference for Blue Heron over the other camps, his son retorted, "You must not have heard him right Dad."
Money was scarce and luxuries few. Owing the store for charges was common among many. The notion of getting away from coal camp life was not as possible for girls raised in the camps as for boys who could enter the service when they came of age.
Women had only their female teachers as role models for working outside the home, though a few women across the years were employed at the company store. When movies and, eventually, television influenced the hopes of coal camp women, other ways of life seemed more possible.
Early in the Blue Heron years, women knew no alternative to a life of marriage and children and caring for a miner husband, and his household. Later, greater access to education and knowledge of the work through limited travel, radio and television changed the hopes and aspirations of many.
Women, typically had five or more children, and occupied themselves entirely with family life. Few worked outside the home, as there was neither a place to work nor time free of house chores.
Today, in many coal mining areas across America, some women become miners wives, and others also become miners. Changes in both technology and society have altered both expectations and realities of mining camp women’s lives.

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Inside the Forest

We are camping at the Blue Heron Campgrounds. The name comes from the Blue Heron Mining Co. One of the many coal mining companies of the area that flourished in the 30's thru the 50's and some to the 60's.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Do You Yahoo?

We do. Actually this is Yahoo Falls in McCreary County,Kentucky. At 115 feet,this is the highest waterfall in Kentucky. You can hike around the mountain and under the falls,back up to the top of the falls. Not a lot of water,yet a waterfall.
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We are here in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area in the Kentucky side. This Park area also is in part of Tennessee.
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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Wild Flowers

The wild flowers are abloom in the smokies. This is a beautiful Honeysuckle bush.
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Here is a rainbow after the summer rain. It is hard to see in this picture. It goes up in the middle of the pic.
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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is one of many waterfalls in the Smokie Mountains. In order to get to the falls you have to hike 1 1/2 mile up and around the mountain top. What was amazing is the amount of water coming down the falls this high up. We did this hike after we had already walked 3 1/2 miles. Not to bad for a couple of old folks.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Smokie Mountains

We are staying in Wears Valley at the Smoker Holler RV Resort,which in reality is just a campground. This Park is a member of Recreation USA which have their price of $10.00 plus tax a night. It is located on route 321 ten miles south of Pigeon Forge and five mile from Townsend.

Monday, June 13, 2005


We have been visiting our grandson and his family for the past couple of days. He has a large driveway and yard so we have been parked here for another free spot. We will leave tomorrow going to Pigeon Forge for a while visiting our son and his family.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hiedleburg Castle

The Alpine Village of Helen,Georgia. This is a small town in the north mountains of the state. All the restuarants,motels,shops must be build on this theme. This is a tourist town that gets crowded. The Castle is a restuarant.
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On the street

Looking at one side of the village street.
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A large mural on one of the buildings.
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There were hundreds of people tubing the river today. This is fun going down the river and over the small rapids.
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Wind Mill

The town even has a wind mill,which is a motel. We had a great time with our visit here. We will leave here in the morning heading into Tennessee.
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The Shriner's are in town for their parade tomorrow. They got an early start this evening with the Hillbilly Truck,motorcycles,small cars. Everyone one was having a good time with all the antics going on.
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Unicoi State Park

We left Warner Robins,Georgia and arrived at Unicoi State Park near Helen,Georgia. This is a town that is somethings called Little Switzerland.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Warner Robins

We left Ashburn this morning drove a short way up I-75 to Warner Robins. We'll stay here parked in my brothers drive way for a few days then move on. I'm hoping to go out to the air base and see the collection of old Air Force planes they have.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Rain, Rain

Not doing to much,we've had a lot of rain the last couple of days. A tornado warning but no tornado. Hanging around Ashburn,Georgia a few more days then going north on I-75 to Warner Robins to visit my brother.