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Town of Jenkins 1914

Shop Hollow Dump Site, Jenkins

Site ID: 15Lr40

Kentucky Archaeological Survey
Unless specified, we cannot provide site location information.


​​​​​​​The University of Kentucky conducted archaeological investigations in the 1990s at the Shop Hollow Dump site.  The work was carried out prior to hollow filling, as part of surface mining activities. Residents of the twentieth-century mining community of Jenkins threw out their everyday trash in this dump.  Shop Hollow Dump was one of several company dumps.  

Consolidated Coal Company (now Consol Energy, based in Pennsylvania) built Jenkins in 1911 as a “model” coal community.  Model towns typically offered services other towns did not - ​a large company store, better-built schools and churches, and recreational facilities such as bowling alleys and movie theatres. Jenkins also had the unusual service of company-provided garbage collection. At its peak, 8,000 people lived in Jenkins.  

Consolidated Coal sold the mines to Bethlehem Steel in 1956. Eventually, most of the houses were sold to individuals.  

Archaeologists investigate the Shop Hollow Dump site


​Site excavations encountered trash deposits that were several feet thick. Artifact density was so high, field workers often found very little soil among the objects in the test units.  

Artifacts were typical domestic items, such as broken china and bottles. Bottles were more frequently whole or nearly whole, in comparison to those found in yard trash  deposits.  Some of the artifacts, such as carbide head lamps, reflected the mining occupation of the town's residents. These kinds of artifacts are rarely found at non-mining sites.  

The archaeological data, documentary evidence, and oral histories suggested that the Jenkins residents had ​​considerable access to material goods through the large company store. They could buy from the store's stock or place special orders, if they desired.

Glass medicine bottles.

What's Cool?

​Progressive Era Ideas in Dishes and Milk Bottles​

Many of the ceramics from the Shop Hollow Dump were plain, undecorated, white vessels - plates, cups and saucers, and bowls. They often appeared to be parts of matched sets. 

This preference for white ceramics showed that Jenkins residents were keeping up with current national trends. By the early twentieth century, plain ceramics had become more popular than the brightly colored ceramics of the nineteenth century.  Part of their appeal may have stemmed from “Progressive Era” ideas about cleanliness and sanitation. 

These ideas also may explain the many milk bottles found in the dump. Bottled milk was considered safer compared to earlier methods of delivery, such as in buckets or large metal cans.​

Plain or minimally decorated ironstone and whiteware ceramics.

Related Materials

​Historic Photographs

Kentucky Coal Heritage​

Additional Historic Photographs

Coal Camp Project - Jenkins

Ph.D. Dissertation

Consuming Appalachia: an Archaeology of Company Coal Towns​

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