A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pew Trusts: Former Kentucky mining towns embrace change, turn to tourism in wake of coal’s decline

By April Simpson Pew Charitable Trusts The same Main Street winds through the old mountain mining towns of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch, crosses a river and runs alongside a creek. The early 20th-century coal mining boom drew people to this remote corner of southeast Kentucky until coal’s dizzying decline sent them away. Today, Main Street hints at a roaring past and the potential for change. Poor...

Appalachian Hospitality Group playing vital role in Harlan County’s future with operation of historic inn

By Joshua Ball For Kentucky Today Travis Warf’s first job was a dishwasher at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn. Some three decades later, he runs the historic inn located in this small community in Harlan County. “I knew there was something special about this place when I worked here as a teenager,” said Warf. “The building is steeped in history and tradition, and is something that, I believe, can...