The US Post Office for the community of Partridge, Kentucky is located about a mile and a half from the Letcher / Harlan County line on an old alignment of US 119. Partridge is about 5 miles north of Cumberland on US 119 and about 18 miles south of Whitesburg in Letcher County.
Recently, and by recently I mean within the past 72 hours, I have been exposed to a vast array of historic aerial photography archives from my home town that are readily (with a fee) available to the public from as far back as 1952. The first that I decided to purchase is this shot:
For comparison as to what you are looking at here is the same image marked with where my house is now.
For even further reference for anyone familiar (IE family) Here is notations of what each building was that showed up on the land in 1952.
None of these structures are still around today. Its really neat to see a visual representation, especially from the air to show what I have heard my grandmother and my parents and aunts and uncles talk about for years and years. For a representation of how things have changed in this little community I took a screen shot of the most recent google earth image (fall 2016) from the same exact location
If you notice in the 1952 photos the road has clearly just been constructed as the banks where they blasted the mountain off hasnt grown back at all. You can also make out the old road if you look close enough. According to my dad the old road crossed the river right across from my house and went across and around the other side of the river. You can see that the culvert right by my house has clearly not even been installed yet. Its amazing to me that you can find things such as this on the internet. A lot has changed in 65 years. If you would like more information about these aerial photography archives visit the site by clicking HERE
Kingdom Come Elementary School is located in Letcher County along state route 160. This is the school that you can see the roof of off in the valley from the overlooks in Kingdom Come State Park in Cumberland. The school’s roots can be traced back to 1924 when the Kingdom Come Settlement School was founded.
Until the mid 1960s Kingdom Come Settlement School would act as a combined school serving students from Elementary all the way through high school.
In the mid 1960s the Letcher County Board of Education decided to start building newer, modern, larger schools. It was suggested that high school students at Kingdom Come be transferred to Whitesburg High School and Kingdom Come become a K-8 facility.
In this plan neighboring schools of Bear Branch, Coyes Gap and Hurricane Gap would close and students would be absorbed into the new Kingdom Come Elementary.
After several delays, in the fall of 1971 construction began.
A new school was built at Kingdom Come where it remained in operation until 2007 when faced with budget issues the school of 85 students was closed.
From research I have done, this building was part of the original Kingdom Come School and remained in use as the new school was being constructed.
The school now serves as a multi purpose community center.
Cubbage Elementary School is located near the intersection of Kentucky state routes 987 and 219 in the community of Miracle in Bell County, Kentucky.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when this school opened, but judging by the construction and styling cues I would estimate it as being an early 50s construction and maybe receiving some minor updates in the 1970s or 1980s.
Back in the 1999-2000 school year the Bell County Board of Education, faced with an aging fleet of elementary schools and budget issues voted to consolidate several of the elementary schools. Included in that list was Cubbage Elementary which was the south-eastern most school geographically speaking.
At the time, in the 1999-2000 school year Cubbage had saw its enrollment drop below 100 students to 89 and school board members couldnt see any feasible way in keeping the aging facility open.
The school is a basic rectangle footprint of what appears to be 7 or 8 classrooms on one side, and offices and a cafeteria on the other side.
There was also a mobile unit behind the school, which still remains there today, 15 years after the school closed.
I have to give credit to the graffiti artists at Cubbage, this is probably my favorite piece of graffiti that I have ran across in an abandoned building.
This was one of the classrooms on the front side of the building.
The lunchroom was still largely intact…including the folding into the wall tables.
I got to asking around about this building in the last year or so and I was surprised to learn that one of my dads cousins now owns the building. I hope to go back soon and do a full updated shoot for a blog entry on this site. Seeing as how its been 7 years since my initial visit, it will be interesting to see the changes in the building.
I have a lot of family who lives in the communities that fed to this school. If any of you were to read this, or anyone else who has information about this school that I have missed, please comment, message or email me.
Seco is an unincorporated community in northern Letcher County between Flemming-Neon and Whitesburg located off US 119 along the north fork of the Kentucky River.
The Seco post office was established on October 2, 1915.
The town of Seco is named after Southeast Coal Company which had a large operation here from 1915 to 1957. Southeast Coal Company also had a large operation in nearby Millstone. The company store for Southeast Coal was restored and turned into a winery in the mid 90s.
Several of the old camp houses in Seco still stand and are used as residence by the people of Seco.
Anyone who has been on US 421 across Pine Mountain in Harlan County, Kentucky has noticed the ruins of what was once a stylish 1950s or 60s era motel near the peak. During the summer months the remains of the building are almost over taken by weeds and kudzu vines.
The back of this postcard reads:
Mount-Aire Motel, U.S. 421, 6 miles north of Harlan at Harlan Entrance to ‘Little Shepherd Trail’. Box 979, Telephone 606/573/3310. Heated pool, carpeting throughout, dining room, banquet room, 24 hour telephone service, completely air conditioned, color TV, shower and tub baths, twin rooms with balcony. Elevation 2800 feet. Buffet every Sunday serving regional foods. Harlan, Kentucky 40831.
Sounds like it was a pretty snazzy place back in the day and the premiere lodging choice in the area.
Flash forward to 2015. Only a shell of the building remains.
The metal frame of the stairs to the second floor remains….but they lead to no where.
This appears to have been a common area, such as the main lobby.
This was a very large and spacious hotel.
The earth is close to retaking what was hers in this area of the hotel.
This was apparently balconies that overlooked the ledge of the mountain which this hotel is built on. At 2800 feet I am sure it offered some amazing views.
Back inside you can see a lot of graffiti that has been left over the years.
I do believe those restrooms would be out of order.
For some reason I think this was possibly part of a kitchen area in the hotel.
Good advice I suppose.
Looking from the kitchen area to what appeared to have been a dining area.
back down the front corridor this was the hallway and outside access points to the rooms on the first floor.
Apparently the bathrooms had tile floors.
Another shot from inside the remains of one of the rooms.
I cant really ever remember this hotel being in operation at this location. It was apparently damaged by fire and forced to relocate. Mount Aire Motel is still in operation in Harlan, Kentucky as they have moved inside the city limits.
**UPDATE** November 16, 2015: I was in this area weekend before last and the site of this hotel has now been leveled and the remains are now all gone. All thats left is a pile of freshly spread dirt.
The old Manalapan Mining Company Building is located next to the former Ages-Brookside post office.
I have read that once upon a time the yellow building in the background was some kind of salloon / bar.
Looking back toward Brookside from Ages Bottom.