Cannel City, Kentucky 41408

Like so many others around this area, Cannel City in Morgan County, Kentucky has a colorful past, all tied to coal.


At one time Cannel City had a population of from 1.000 to 1,500 people, hundreds of houses, a high school, bank, commissary, roller rink, hotel, movie house, church, private grocery stores (Caudill Brothers. George Neal and Taylor Day had stores), Cannel City Gas Company, Cannel City Telephone Company, Cannel City Recreation Club, oil wells, the Kentucky Block Cannel Coal Company, and the O&K Railway.

Cannel City became known as the largest cannel coal field in the world and its cannel left Caney Valley on the O&K Railway to be shipped to the Great Lakes region, Europe, and South America. Coal buyers came from Paris and London to stay at the Hotel DeLancey and enjoy the hospitality of East Kentuckians while buying coal.

The usefulness of cannel coal, however, declined once coal gas, then electric lighting, became commonplace. The mine shut down in the mid‑1930s, then the railroad.  By the 1940s it was all over and today no more than a few dozen people reside in Cannel City, but there are a few remains of what was once a boom town.


Cannel City School still stands at the bend in the road on state route 191.  When it opened in 1938 it was an elementary – middle and high school all in one.


I’ve not been able to pinpoint a closing date, so if anyone out there knows, please comment.  It’s such a large, beautiful building.  I’m guessing it closed sometime within the last decade or so.


I would love to get inside of a building like this, as it looks well preserved.  It is also, however, secured and locked tight at all ends.


This is the side of the building nearest the bend in the road and next to the post office.


The corner stone says 1936, but as far as I can tell through research, the school didn’t open until the 1938-39 school year.

cannelcityschool3This building really reminds me a lot of the old school at Ages.  The stone work is absolutely amazing.


This has to be the smallest free standing post office I have ever witnessed.

Cannel City, Kentucky 41408


This Caboose serves as a monument to the community’s past heritage and relationship with the railroad.  The park, DeLancey Park is named after the hotel that once stood at the center of the community.  cannelcitychurch2This church was built in 1905, it appears to have been abandoned for many years.



12 thoughts on “Cannel City, Kentucky 41408”

  1. Hi, Jamie. Thanks for writing an article about Cannel City, Ky and for photographing the area. I would like to ask your permission to use your photo of the DeLancey Park caboose in an ad I’m designing for a small community art fair we will be having in DeLancey Park this September.

  2. Cannel City School closed in 2008 🙂 That was the first and last year I went there. It was a great and beautiful school. However, now, it’s all fallen in. It would be a death wish to go in there.

  3. I went to that school in 2005 I was a kindergartner and it was absolutely huge looking inside and was beautiful. This Tuesday I’m gonna drive by and look at it. It was huge looking when I was little but looking at these pictures. The school looks so small. I wish I had know earlier about the building. Did it cave in or something?

  4. Thank you for sharing these pictures, so may great memories. My entire Lacy family is from Cannel City. The general store where we bought penny candy. My dad went to that school. He played basketball for them. My grandfather, Preston Lacy was at one time their sheriff and they raised tobacco. My cousins recently visited which inspired me to google the town and find your post. Thanks again for sharing… Sherry

  5. Hi Jamie I really like your site I’ve been looking over it for a little while. I have something that may peak your interest. I went to cannel city for a month. But I also went to a school in the small town of beattyville, my. It is called beattyville elementary school. It shut down in 2015. It is a huge school and is just wasting away. It was built in 1934 originally and has had some additions in the years in the 1960s mainly. It has sat vacant for 2 years. I think you would love it. And i would love to see pictures of it if possible. The address is 244 Broadway beattyville my I do believe. I live to the east in Jackson so i go by to see it every now and then but i would love to see pictures of the interior.

  6. Jamie,
    If you or any of your readers are still interested in the old Cannel City School, please join us Saturday, September 29, from 4pm-8pm for the 2018 Homecoming event. Admission is free and live music will be performed in the restored courtyard area. Proceeds from the sale of concessions and souvenirs will be used for ongoing renovation of the building.
    Although only one section of the building is currently approved by the state for public access, we think you will enjoy seeing the progress we’ve made. Thanks for your interest in Cannel City. It’s a great community with wonderful people.
    We are located at 9517 Hwy 191, Cannel City, Kentucky. Hope to see you there!

    *If you aren’t able to attend or would like more information, please follow the Facebook page for Cannel City Schoolhouse. We’ll post photos from Homecoming and upcoming events. Thanks!

    1. oh thank you for the invitation to attend! I would love to be there today. Right now my father is in the hospital so I am unable to attend. Otherwise, I would have jumped at this opportunity. I am so glad to see this building is being saved!

  7. I loved read this if I may say my self. I went to that school all of my elementary grades. I’m glad to also read that it is being saved. 😁 Growing up in Cannel City was the best years of my life! The history of the town that once there or being in the woods and finding old railroad stuff and more. Was some really great memories of my life. Thank you for taking the pics and making this 😁😁😁👏👏

    1. Thanks for the update. Really appreciate the positive support you give all the communities in Eastern Kentucky.

      On Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 11:25 PM Jamie in Wanderland Shawn commented: “I loved read this if I may say my self. I went to that > school all of my elementary grades. I’m glad to also read that it is being > saved. [image: 😁] Growing up in Cannel City was the best years of my > life! The history of the town that once there or being in the wo” >

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