Packard, Kentucky: Another Abandoned Coal Town

Packard, KY, once located in Whitley County, KY is a ghost town that once served the Packard Coal Company, founded in the early 20th century.

 Packard Kentucky Coal Camp Mining Town. (Nova Numismatics)

A short railroad spur connected the town to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad a couple miles north at Nevisdale, KY.

Like many company towns, the inhabitants and daily life centered around the mine, to the point that they were paid in company scrip, only redeemable at company stores in the town, which usually had inflated prices for goods. According to Nova Numismatics, "depending on the company and company town, some, if not all, of miner’s wages were paid in coal scrip, rather than U.S. dollars. This practice, inconceivable today, forced many miners into an existence of forced subjugation and poverty. Without wages paid in U.S. Dollars rather than coal scrip, workers found it nearly impossible to take their families and leave the mines in search for other work."

Of course, this would also upset the workers, to the point that a conflict between the company and its workers required the National Guard to settle things.

The Great Falls Tribune newspaper article reporting that Kentucky Governor Morrow sent two National Guard machine gun squads to Packard Kentucky to protect the Mahan Jellico Coal mine. (Wikipedia Commons)

The coal that powered the town would eventually dry out, like with every coal town, and Packard was no exception. The town was abandoned along with the mine in the mid-1940's.

Thanks as always for reading!


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