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Exploring Blue Heron Mining Camp

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Learning about the mining history in Kentucky is an important part of understanding where we have come from as a community as well as a nation. When you explore the Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp in Stearns, Kentucky you can not only see the buildings and learn about the community, but you can also hear the stories from the people who lived and worked in the mining camp.

exploring blue heron mining camp

Exploring Blue Heron Mining Camp

The Blue Heron Mining Camp is built as an outdoor museum. Each of the buildings is just an open steel structure with artifacts and memorabilia encased in an exhibit case. You can also listen to the stories from some of the people who lived and worked in the Blue Heron community.

Blue Heron Mining Community Depot

Blue Heron Mining Community

Blue Heron Mining Community

You can begin your tour of the Blue Heron Mining Community at the depot where you will see a model of the town from the height of it’s existence in the 1950s. You can view the displays and then move through the other structures.






Don’t miss the opportunity to walk across the coal tipple and bridge and enjoy the view of the river below.








Touring the Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp is a great opportunity to learn the story of the Stearns Company and their timber, railroad and mining operations.


Blue Heron, also known as Mine 18, is an abandoned coal mining town and was a part of the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company’s past operation. The Blue Heron mines operated from 1937, until December, 1962.

You can access the Mining camp by car or by taking a train ride in from the Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns, KY.

Have you ever visited the Blue Heron Mining Community?

Find the Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp
Cost: FREE
Highway 742
Stearns, KY 42647
20 Minutes off US27 in Whitley City, KY

Don’t forget to check out Devil’s Jump Overlook on your way to Blue Heron Mining Community! The View is amazing!

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One Comment

  1. Very interesting article. I used to teach cello in Whitley City so I am a bit familiar with the area but had never heard of this mining community.

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