Benham Kentucky and The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum

Benham (population 599), a city in northern Harlan County was founded in 1911 as a coal mining company town by Wisconsin Steel, a subsidiary of International Harvester.  There are several buildings in the town that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For the purposes of this entry I will focus on one of these buildings, The former Commissary which was built in 1923.


The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, housed in the former commissary building (1923), which is in the center of this photo, has became a regional tourist attraction. Three stories of exhibits feature the history of coal mining in Kentucky and the life of coal miners and their families. 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.  The Museum opened in May of 1994.



The Benham Post Office is located near the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s