Harlan County Coal Monument and old 119 Bridge at Baxter

I don’t know the story of this monument, who built it, when it was built or even why it was built in Baxter.  I do know that my dad says that this thing has been at this spot for as long as he can remember.  Before the road changed and the bypass was built, this was the intersection of US 421 and US 119.  Of course this was way before my time, but I imagine it was the busiest intersection in the county.

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To my knowledge this monument has never been refurbished and stands today as it has since it was built.  I would love to see the county government come in and build a park on the adjoining riverbank and on the abandoned steel truss bridge next to it.

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This bridge has been closed as long as I can remember.  It once carried US 119 across the Cumberland River.  Such a beautiful structure, that is going to waste.

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I guess once the bypass was finished, the state saw no reason to keep this bridge up to date and operational.

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AS you can see in this picture, the coal monument is right in the middle of the road, I bet that caused some traffic back in the day.  lol.

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