By Eileen Mountjoy
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the combination of coal, capital, and railways brought a gigantic new industry to Jefferson and Indiana counties. Due to their favorable Northeast location, the product of the area’s first coal mines soon poured in a stead stream into markets as far away as New England, the Great Lakes and Canada. In the mining areas, peaceful farms and sawmills were suddenly displaced by tipples, mule barns, and block of identical miners’ houses. In some locations, another unfamiliar sight appeared – long rows of meticulously-constructed beehive coke ovens.