Project SummaryLynch, Kentucky, the heart of Harlan County, was once the largest coal camp in the world. It was founded in 1917 by U.S. Coke and Coal, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. Over 4,000 people were employed by the Lynch Mining Complex by the 1940s. The influx of miners and their families - 38 represented nationalities - caused the population of Harlan County to increase over 100 percent between 1920 and 1930, and by 1940, it had become the state's fourth most populous county. The "model coal camp" of Lynch had housing, education, healthcare, churches, social services, recreation, and of course, wages and benefits, all provided by the company. But by the mid-20th century, increased mechanization and decreased output dampened both population growth and mine production. These interviews provide a glimpse into the growth and decline of Lynch through the voices of its community. Topics discussed include the institutions of Lynch: the churches, schools, stores, the hotel, the movie theater, and the strength of the community.