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History :: Chronology
The following timeline lists major events that occurred in the history of Barthell, or that had the most direct effects on life at Barthell.
Date Event
1880s - 1890s Bryant family buying much land in area, and L.E. Bryant begins exploring and mining of coal.
1893 L.E. Bryant brings large block of coal to Columbian exhibition in Chicago, encourages larger capitalists to come to the area.
?c.1901 John Toomey, associate of L. E. Bryant, visits Jutus S. Stearns in Michigan and convinces him to consider investment in Big South Fork area (Thomas 1989; OH:18)
1902-3 Big Survey and other land surveys and purchases by Kinne, for Justice Stearns, leasing of other Bryant lands
1902 Stearns Coal Company, Stearns Lumber Co., and K&T Railroad incorporated, begin work on lumbar yard and town of Stearns (Thomas 1989, Kinne 1929).
1902 Camp at Barthell established, work on mine One and Two initiated, L.E. Bryant supervises, James Bonnyman first superintendent (Thomas 1989; Thomas, OH No.18)
1903 K&T tracks reach Barthell, tipple completed (Thomas 1989)
1903, 6-1 First shipment of coal from Barthell (Thomas 1989)
1903, 6-4 To celebrate shipment, first July 4th festival in Stearns, annual tradition established, train excursion to Barthell (Birdwell1990)
1903 Sawmill opens in Stearns (Kinne 1929) 
1903 Stearns school built, others in camps follow (Kinne 1929)
1904 Five or six men blown from Barthell mine, three of them possibly into creek by explosion, five men killed (Thomas 1989, OH:14) (Note, Perry 1979 suggest that this happened in 1910)
1905-6 J.E. Butler replaces L.E. Bryant in management of mines (Thomas 1989)
1905-6 Butler hires J.M. McGuffey as superintendent of new Mine Two, Barthell, build house for him.  Mr. Reynolds superintendent of Mine One (OH:6)
1908 early union recruiting leads to shoot-out at hotel, burning of hotel (Thomas 1989, Perry 1979; OH:12)
1909 Stearns Co. negotiates contract with Southern Railway, provides major market for Barthell's No. 2 seam coal (OH:14; Birdwell 1990:73)
1910 Six men killed in Barthell mine accident (Thomas 1989)
1910 Reorganization of seperate companies into one company, Stearns Coal and Lumber Co.
1910 In reorganization, value of timber, Bryant purchase, only $3,000, suggesting area fairly well logged out; Value of Bryant lease (includes Barthell) at $30,000, and of mining materials and equipment at $45,000, suggesting optimism about coal (Articles of Association, Stearns Coal and Lumber Co.)
1912 McCreary County formed, Whitley City as seat
1912 Charlie Crabtree killed by rock fall at Barthell, first rock fall death (Helen Green n.d.)
1916 Jonce Holt (later to be foreman) comes to Barthell (OH:16,14)
1919 Mine Two in Barthell closes (Thomas n.d.)
1920 State Bank of Stearns formed, deposits grow to over $500,000 by 1929 (Kinne 1929).  Stearns State Bank opened (dissolved in 1940/1941)
1920s hold dances in top of tipple, and in individual houses (OH:13)
1920s Stearns Co. bypasses national labor struggles, does not organize (Birdwell 1990:75)
1923-7 Purchase of the Bryant lease by the Stearns Coal and Lumber- includes Barthell (Whitley Co. Deed Book 12:587)
1925 Some labor unrest, some miners blacklisted for involvement (employee card files at Stearns Museum)
1927 Lewis Jones killed in explosion while working alone on Thanksgiving Day, established tradition of no work on that day (OH:14)
1928-29 Camargo Co. sells electric gatheringmotors to Stearns Co. for use at Barthell, phase out mules for gathering (OH:13)
1929 Bad flooding at Carmago and other cmps, but not major damage to Barthell (Birdwell 1990:84
1929 Dr. Bradley moves to Barthell (Record)
1930, Jan. Record production for one month, 100.961 tons of coal (all mines) (Birdwell 1990:88)
1931 New marketing strategies, No. 2 coal seam named Scarlet Tanager (Birdwell 1990:88)
1933 Stobart McGuffey, son of J.M. McGuffey, killed in explosion at Worley (Record), leads to stricter safety measures, breakdown of J.M. McGuffey (OH:14)
1933 Dr. Bradley leaves Barthell (Record)
early 1930s New bath house, double houses on east side of Paunch Creek built (OH:1)
1933-6 CCC Camp established at Cumberland Falls, build concrete toilets at Barthell (OH:1; 14)
1935 J.M. McGuffey retires as Barthell Superintendent, moves to Stearns; eventually replaced by Red Rose after interim replacements Mr. Gibbon, Caewood Whalen (Record, OH:1,7,14)
1935 Major strike, some pro-Union miners blacklisted by Stearns Co. (Birdwell 1990;99,109)
1935-1940s Increasing number of miners join Union (OH:1; Birdwell 1990)
1936 Stearns Co. renegotiates contract with Southern Railway, helps insure market for Barthell coal (Birdwell 1990:99)
1937 Web Warman becomes store manager (Record)
1937 E.E. Barthell, namesake of Barthell coal camp, dies
1937 Stearns Co. sells much of previously logged land to U.S. Forest Service, Cumberland National Forest
1937-1938 Establishment of Mine 18 at Blue Heron
1938 Fatal shoot-out between Ellis Strunk and Tom Vahles near school/church
1938-40 Depression-related fluctuations in work at Barthell stop, work now more full time (OH:14; Birdwell 1990)
1938-1940s bring coal cutting machines in, less hand loading
1939 Group photo of miners taken
c. 1940 Scrip changes largely to metal (OH:1)
1940-41 WWII patriotism high, Gorman Strunk set American flag into rock at store (OH:10)
1940s, early Loss of some younger men into service
1940s, early Increased wartime production, add second railroad track (OH:2)
1942 Road from Revilo to Mine 18 paved (Record)
1943, 5-6 Barthell (and other Stearns miners) ignore strike and respond to patriotic calls for work
1943, 6-17 Tipple and nearby structures at Barthell burns, totally destroyed and not rebuilt, end of mining at Mine One, Barthell coal from Mine Two routed to Mine 18 (Record)
1945 W.A. Kinne dies (Record)
August 1, 1941 Dr. Floyd killed in train collision south end of Barthell (OH:7)
1952, 3-15 Lay off of hand loaders at Mine 18 (machine work continues) and at Mine No. 2, Barthell, 125 men in all (Record, OH)
1952 Begin dismantling of Barthell mine and camp(OH:17)
1959 Jonce Holt retires as Barthell Foreman, and family moves to Stearns, last family out of Barthell. (OH:14, 15)
1961 Final dismantling, end of Barthell mine and coal camp
1974 Big South Fork National Recreation Area formed
1984 The Kogers purchase Barthell from the Stearns Coal & Lumber Company.
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