Kentucky Coal Mining Museum
Hours of Operation
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$5.00 - Adults, $4.00 - Senior Citizens and $2.00 - Children/Students
After hours and group tours are available by reservation.

Call 606-848-1530
For more information: Phyllis Sizemore

Visit The Kentucky Coal Museum Company Store

While visiting the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, you can see the floor plan of a typical underground coal mine. The display shows all aspects of a coal mine including the tipple and other mining activities.

Please call and make reservations to visit our state of the art underground coal mine,

block of coalVisitors can have their picture made outside the building next to the two-ton block of coal that was specially cut for the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum.

Kids will also enjoy climbing on the 1940's model electric locomotive. It was used to haul miners inside the mine. You can see other heavy machinery used in mining the "black diamond."

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is located in the former coal camp town of Benham in Harlan County Kentucky. Benham was originally occupied by farming families. International Harvester purchased the area in the early 1900's for its rich coal seams; then mining began.

In 1911, L&N built a spur line and Benham became a productive coal mining town. The City of Benham was incorporated in 1960 after International Harvester sold several buildings and lots to the town council.

The museum building was the second building built by the company to house a company commissary. The first one, built on the same site, was a wooden structure destroyed by fire in the mid-teen's. The concrete and masonry structure replaced the burned building in 1923.

The building was purchased in June 1990 by the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce for the future site of the museum. It underwent extensive renovations with funds provided from the state of Kentucky and opened its doors for the first time in May 1994. Museum visitors always have an enjoyable time when they visit the museum and recount the past coal mining history.

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum offers a complete picture of the lives that revolve around the coal industry. Visitors to the museum can view the process detailing the formation of coal by looking at several visuals and fossil displays. Next a narrated video describes the early coal mining days in Benham and Lynch.

Other displays include items from the company hospital, early mining tools, items from the commissary and the miner's home, and a working scale model of a coal tipple. A photography collection documenting the history of Benham - mining accidents, new buildings, people, etc. -can also be seen.

schoolhospitalThousands of items have been collected detailing every segment of coal mining history. After a short trip to Portal 31 in nearby Lynch, you can enjoy a walking tour of one of the largest coal loading facilities in the world.

Opening in May 1994, the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum has been visited by thousands. After completing our building renovations we will have an underground mine tour at nearby Portal 31 in Lynch. A walking tour of the grounds outside the portal is already developed.

Loretta LynnCountry music legend Loretta Lynn, "The Coal Miner's Daughter," has housed some of her personal collection on the third floor of the museum. Her floor of the museum is now open.

We look forward to your visit to the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum. Please call ahead for large groups or tours.

For more information: Phyllis Sizemore .

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