Wheelwright, located in eastern Kentucky’s Floyd County, is a town developed by Elk Horn Coal Corporation in 1911. Purchased by Inland Steel in 1920, the coal town was expanded to include services as a hotel, library, hospital, golf course, movie theater, bowling alley and department store. Because of its success, Wheelwright is often referred to as a model “company town”. By the mid 60s, however, conditions were deteriorating and the town was sold to Island Creek Coal and later Mountain Investment Company. By the early l970s Island Creek shut down its mining operations, leaving Wheelwright with a severe employment crisis.
Above: Blueprint detailing a three room miner’s house (Wheelwright collection)
Below: Slide depicting the same three room house plan (Karl Raitz Kentucky slides)
This collection was digitized as part of the Coal, Camps, and Railroads project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Below: Hand drawn plans for a tower operator (Wheelwright collection)