The Betty Howard Coal Miner’s Memorial Theater is located in the town of Benham, Kentucky in northern Harlan County. Benham is a former company town built by Wisconsin Steel subsidiary International Harvester in the 1910s and 1920s.
The theater was built by the coal company in 1921. Over the years as with many coal company towns, the theater and other buildings fell into disrepair. Benham, however is a great success story of preservation and rejuvenation. On July 21, 1983 the theater along with most of the other buildings surviving in Benham were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
That includes the theater. The town sought for private funding to restore the theater. In December of 2006 the theater was re-dedicated.
The First National Bank of Iaeger was founded in 1918 in the McDowell County town of Iaeger.
The First National Bank Of Iaeger in West Virginia printed $287,830 dollars worth of national currency. That is a pretty standard output. However, some types of currency from this bank could still be rare. This national bank opened in 1918 and stopped printing money in 1930, which equals a 13 year printing period. That is actually quite brief in terms of bank existence. During its life, The First National Bank Of Iaeger issued 4 different types and denominations of national currency.
War bills itself as West Virginia’s southern-most city. War is located on state highway 16 about 15 miles south of Welch. War was the home of Big Creek High School, Homer Hickam’s alma mater.
War was incorporated as a city in 1920. The population of War peaked in 1950 at 3,992. According to the 2014 census estimate the town has a population of 793.
This is the former Melvin Grade School located in Melvin, Kentucky.
The school is located along state highway 466 in southern Floyd County. The school was originally constructed in 1949 and replaced a one room school at nearby Abner and a three room school at nearby Weeksburry.
The Melvin Grade School served the community for nearly 40 years. A neat picture of 8th grade class from 1985 can be found by clicking HERE
The school closed at the end of the 1997-98 school year. The grounds currently serve as the grounds for a junk yard.
Wayland, Kentucky is located in Floyd County along highway 7 south of Martin.
The Post Office at Wayland was first established on May 18, 1914. Wayland was incorporated as a sixth class city in 1923. The population of Wayland peaked at the 1940 census at 2,888. Today the population is a little over 400.
Drift, Kentucky is located along state highway 122 between the towns of Martin and McDowell in Floyd County.
The post office at drift was first established in 1909. The origins of the name DRIFT are unclear, but many think that it was named for a local coal mine or after driftwood found in the nearby left fork of Beaver Creek.
The United States Postal Service discontinued service at the Drift Post Office on September 12, 2009.