Portal 31 In Harlan County

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

Portal 31 is a project more than 10 years in the making. The old U.S. steal mine is being turned into a Kentucky coal exhibit to show what it was like under ground there for more than 40 years.

The museum in Lynch of Harlan County will take tourists on a ride of the mine, visiting eight sights along the way. Portal 31 employees took pictures of the miners. You’ll see those photos of the men and women at the end of the exhibit.

Sandra Sleight-Brennan, with the Portal 31 project says, “Gives people a better idea of why it was important and how people did it, how the work changed, evolved over the years. How the mining techniques changed.”

Portal 31 employees say they hope the project will be finished in early 2009.

Now state officials pulled funding earlier this year but Harlan County leaders are using coal severance tourism funds to keep the project moving forward.


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  • by Jenny Location: Williamstown, KY on Dec 11, 2008 at 10:12 AM
    I sure hope this project is completed soon. As far as I know, it would be the only one of its kind. I think Tourism is Harlan County's best hope for a vibrant economy. There is so much history there that could be tapped into, not to mention the natural beauty. "Harlan County, USA" is one of the best documentary films ever made.
  • by CC Location: USA on Oct 22, 2008 at 07:01 AM
    "old U.S. steal mine" Or as it's known in Harlan Co, "The Old US Steel Mine"
  • by Dave Location: Laurel, MD on Oct 19, 2008 at 04:50 PM
    While there are other things that money can be spent on, this project is needed by the community. I hope they finish it. We visited there in 2006 while we were in the area and found it to be a unique idea. History like this need to be perserved
  • by L. Location: Ky. on Oct 12, 2008 at 07:35 AM
    I sure hope this will really come to fruition. It will be a great tourist attraction to the community. We've been waiting on it forever!
  • by james Location: harlan county on Oct 12, 2008 at 04:30 AM
    while harlan county people needs water then the fisical court pours money in something that helps only a few people.

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