Mary Helen Coal Company Commissary

This week I was able to take a sneak peak inside of a long abandoned building in the coal fields of Harlan County Kentucy.  This building once served as the company store for the Mary Helen Coal Company.  Later it served as the Coalgood supply company store and the Coalgood, Kentucky post office.   The post office was closed August 31, 2004.  The store building and most of the land around this area is now owned by Coalgood Energy Company.



The outside of the building shows the sheer size of this building and the relative closeness of the business to the mining operations.  The sign for the post office is still on one of the doors downstairs.


My hope for such a building would be that at some point someone would purchase it with concrete plans that could be of some type of service to the community, whether it be low income apartments, maybe some type of small business, possibly even a call center.  There is a lot of room in this building and it is still structurally sound.  As it sits now it is nothing but an eye sore to many, but to me its a glimpse into the past and a different way of life in my home town.


Liggett, Kentucky

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Liggett Kentucky was once a thriving coal mining community located at the eastern terminus of Kentucky State Route 72 in Central Harlan County, Kentucky, about 6 miles from the county seat of Harlan.  Today, little remains of what was once a busy coal camp.  There are still signs that recall the bustling past of the area.  There is still work going on in this area, the day that I was here there were trucks coming in and out and you could see workers moving from buildings to other areas.  Also there was a watch dog that tried to chase my car back down the road.


Liggett Baptist Church is still in operation and growing strong at Liggett.  The church is surrounded by some of the most serene views I have ever witnessed.   To find out more about Liggett Baptist Church you can visit their website  at

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The bridge structure of the bridge leading to Liggett even hearkens back to the days of big coal and company constructed infrastructure and towns.