Monday, January 30, 2012

The Appalachian Ghosts, Appalachia, USA




The Abandoned Coal Towns of Appalachia
In the late 1800s, thousands of coal prospectors flocked to the coal-rich hills of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, to take advantage of the high demand for coal during the peak of the industrial age. Money was to be made and many of the coal companies established themselves and their employees by creating “coal camps” or “coal towns.” Miners lived in homes owned by the coal companies and were paid in company currency, which they used to pay for items at the company stores.
     When the boom ended in the early 1900s, many coal companies ceased production and laid off all their workers. The coal towns were abandoned, leaving behind dozens of ghost towns that still stand solemn today.
     Even today, the volatility of the coal market creates an environment that is prone to layoffs. This unstable employment market never gives many Appalachian coalfield towns a chance to reach their full potential. The hills are full of small towns that are just as quiet and earnest as the ghost towns on the other side of the mountain.
     I would like to share with you a short film created by photographer Jim Lo Scalzo in 2009, titled “Ghosts in the Hollow.” This multimedia piece gives a brief glimpse into the sad yet beautiful scenery of abandoned Appalachian coal towns.
     Here is the link to Jim Lo Scalzo’s film:
By Lori Hutchison, who teaches high school English and owns the site, Masters in Teaching, 
http://www.mastersinteaching.net/

 In her spare time, Lori enjoys writing guest blog posts about various topics of interest.








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