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Highlights on Lynch Plant - 1917-1957


Highlights on Lynch Plant - 1917-1957 The Town & People 1917 - 1926


     Early in 1917, the United States Coal and Coke Company secured options on several tracts of land in Kentucky, aggregating about 19,000 acres in area, and after careful prospecting by outcrop openings and diamond drilling, completed the purchase in late July of that year. The property is located in Harlan and Letcher Counties, on the headwaters of Poor Fork and Clover Fork of Cumberland River.Prep Plant and Powerhouse under construction.

     The main seam on this property was one known variously as the "C", Benham, Keokee, Taggart and Roda. The major portion of this seem averaged about 5 feet in thickness, was usually clean, and considered to be one of the best gas and coking coals in the United States.

     On August 4, 1917, the decision was made to start the development of the tract at once and push it with all possible speed as the Government wanted an additional supply of high grade, high volatile, byproduct coal from which benzol and toluol could be increased. Actual possession of the property was given about three weeks later, and on August 26 construction work was started and pushed with all possible speed until after the Armistice was signed.

     When directions were given to start the construction, the output wanted was 2,500,000 tons per year. A plant site location, covering an area of about 2-1/2 miles long and, in places, 2000 feet wide, was selected on Big Looney Creek, a stream which crosses the property for a distance of about four miles.portal31-4a.jpg (143529 bytes)

     This site afforded an easy and logical location for the development, as it was situated in the approximate center of the property and was the only point of attack without considerable railroad construction. It was decided to construct at this point a plant that would have a capacity of not less than 8000 tons per day.

     A topographic party was organized and the work of getting the necessary information for the town and plant site layout was pushed as rapidly as possible to meet the August 26 deadline when the actual construction work began.






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