Coal Miner’s Daughter – What was it like?

miner kids

I was a kid. I had no clue to the danger Daddy faced everyday. Living in a mining camp was heaven to me. At the age of four, I had free reign of the holler and the mountains around it. We were related to most folks on the road and friends with the others.

My cousins and I roamed freely through the creek and mountains, climbing cliffs, exploring caves and finding grave sites, of ancient settlers of the region on mountaintops. We were careful to avoid the only danger, copperheads and rattlesnakes.

Daddy attended a one room school house. His reign of terror on the school system is a story in itself. My cousins and I walked about a mile to our six roomed school house. First through six grades were taught. First we built a fire in the pot-bellied coal stove then went to work.

There was no running water. We  brought our own cups, to get water from a bucket. Toilets were outhouses. Lunch was served on real plates at our desks. A neighbor lady across the creek, cooked for us and carried the plates over to the school.

Recess was my favorite. It was time for marbles in the dirt, climbing trees, or a game of catch.

Life was good for a small girl. Not so for my sweet Daddy.

Below is a visual of a similar school house.

miner camp school


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