Bloody Harlan Kentucky: In The Deep Dark Hills of Eastern Kentucky

Bloody Harlan Kentucky: In The Deep Dark Hills of Eastern Kentucky

Harlan Kentucky is known as Bloody Harlan for a reason- nearly a hundred years of bitter and violent labor disputes between coal companies and mine workers seeking to unionize. The song says you’ll never leave Harlan alive, but watch this episode to see what locals are doing to save their town and adapt in light of the dying coal industry.

Become a Patron today & get perks:

Join this channel to get access to perks:

Watch more Mountain Roots:

Exploring Appalachia:

If you want to contact us for business inquiries or collaboration opportunities, email:

Also find us on facebook @mountainrootshomestead

Snail Mail:
Mountain Roots Productions
PO Box 664
New Castle, VA, 24127

#Appalachia #BloodyHarlan #HarlanKentucky

Song Playlist:

Baptized and Buried by Will Harrison
Blacklake Waters by Northside
Bluegrass Bean by Undertowns
Bull’s Head Bay by Roy Edwin Williams
Country Gold by Hunter Quinn
Dontcha Wanna by Gabriel Kelley
Lackawanna Trai by Roy Williams
Solstice Meander by American Legion


  1. Mountain Roots on July 7, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Love hearing from you where we should explore next!

  2. ROAM Gaming on July 7, 2023 at 10:21 am

    since your channel is big enough for monetization you could just add channel memberships here on youtube instead of going the patreon route as well. that’s what i’ve done recently and it was pretty easy.

  3. Javanha Davis on July 7, 2023 at 10:22 am

    My distant relatives were formerly enslaved people that were miners in that county for generations. 1870s-1950s.

  4. J Mathews on July 7, 2023 at 10:24 am

    1st heard about Harlan from the great Tyler Childers, I’ve been intrigued since, with both mentioned of course.

  5. YorkTown on July 7, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Subscribed 👍

  6. Hossm1808 Clark on July 7, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Man! Love this video and it really hits home to me! My Parents are from WVA and Eastern Ky and both Grandads were Minors! I was born and raised in Columbus but spent many of days in Jenkins Ky and Bencreek WVA!

  7. Krystle V on July 7, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Both my parents are from Kentucky but I’m from Ohio and I love Kentucky I always have every since I was a little girl going on trips to see relatives.

  8. Kas Davis on July 7, 2023 at 10:26 am

    My husbands great uncle Rufus Wilder died in a mine collapse in Harlan Kentucky on July 4th 1946. He had 5 children. My husband never got to meet him as he wasn’t born yet. My husband’s granddad Jonathan Wilder told him all about. Very, very tragic.

  9. Andy Craig on July 7, 2023 at 10:27 am

    I’ve enjoyed a couple of jeep trips there, to play in the 7,000 acre Black Mountain offroad area.

  10. Vince B Daniel on July 7, 2023 at 10:29 am

    I liked the tattoo shop owner, Timothy and his doggid stubbornness and independent self determination.

  11. 🎀TERRORIZER B🎀 on July 7, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Harlan County born and raised.. 🙋‍♀️❤🙏

  12. Marianne Johnson on July 7, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Last night I finished the latest book by one of my favorite authors …Barbara Kingsolver….Called Demon Copperhead. It takes place in Lee County VA and is about a young boy growing up there and the opioid epidemic that spread through the community. I highly recommend it.

  13. Truckin Pop pop on July 7, 2023 at 10:31 am

    Race? Are we watching the same video? How could anyone possibly take anything racial away from this video? Come on, man!

  14. Mike Briggs on July 7, 2023 at 10:34 am

    Good job young man, we should never forget the past, those that do, are doomed to repeat it.👍

  15. Roy Young on July 7, 2023 at 10:36 am

    My family is from Harlan and were coal miners who moved to Texas in 1930 because of black lung disease. I traveled back to Harlan for the first time at the age of 64 to see my home land. What a great place. Thanks for showing me places I did not get to see.

  16. Thrill Billy on July 7, 2023 at 10:36 am

    In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
    That’s the place where I trace my bloodline
    And it’s there I read on a hillside gravestone
    "You’ll never leave Harlan alive” 🎶 ~ Patty Loveless

  17. I❤️MagicJ on July 7, 2023 at 10:38 am

    I love my home town Harlan my thank you so much for sharing

  18. FirePower'd on July 7, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Gainesboro, TN has a Poke Sallet festival too. My wife was actually Poke Sallet Queen back in the day. 😄

  19. Dylan Miller on July 7, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Shout out Eastern Ky. Born to lose, but always findin ways to survive.

  20. Jeff Morse on July 7, 2023 at 10:44 am

    I looked the county up – it had 75,000 in 1940. In 2020 it was down to 25,000. To lose 2/3 of its peak population is just so strange to a person from California. While its had a net lost of population the last few years in my lifetime almost every town I’ve lived in has doubled or even tripled in population.

  21. Charles Merritt on July 7, 2023 at 10:44 am

    The UMWA held a rally in Harlan during what was called the pistonstrike. thousands of UMWA members were there to support striking miners. i was proud to be one of them.long live the UMWA and Cecil Roberts.

  22. JRCinKY on July 7, 2023 at 10:46 am

    My grandpa was from Harlan

  23. Depend OnG on July 7, 2023 at 10:47 am

    How on earth did you do harlan and Cumberland gap yet did nothing on pineville or middlesboro?

  24. Jaykay Windstorm on July 7, 2023 at 10:48 am

    I had a blast there miss that town

  25. Matt Day on July 7, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Fascinating and enjoyable videos. But if you don’t mind me asking why do you refer to the Civil War as ‘what is known as the American civil war’? Why not call it just the ‘Civil War’?

  26. CRIMSON 9oh7 on July 7, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Lookout for Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder! Makes me wanna rewatch Justified again 😁

  27. Colorado Brad on July 7, 2023 at 10:50 am

    My grandparents were from Harlan. Married 60 years and so kind. Miss them dearly.

  28. blue03r6 on July 7, 2023 at 10:51 am

    Not too far away from harlan. In Williamsburg. Whitley county

  29. Ricky Bobby Racing on July 7, 2023 at 10:52 am

    Ever hear of the show justified? :D. Yup, that’s why I’m here

  30. Dumb music sells on July 7, 2023 at 10:52 am

    I wish industry or something would help these Appalachian towns economically grow. 🥺

  31. Raven Salters on July 7, 2023 at 10:52 am

    Nice to see the town of Aintry. What did happen on the cahullawahsee🧐

  32. Dan C1969 on July 7, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Last time in Harlan was a few years ago during covid. Stopped in the Pizza Portal and there was a chalkboard sign — "Due to covid we are short staffed. If you are impatient, inquire about a job application within." Love it – Only in Kentucky ! 🤣

    The clear message — don’t whine or bitch if you are not willing to be part of a solution. 💪

  33. DJ SHEPHERD on July 7, 2023 at 10:53 am

    One of the most Currupt places

  34. jennifer ryerse jones on July 7, 2023 at 10:56 am

    I knew of poke sallet from reading Joan Hess’ series "Maggody", and where I live it’s called poke weed. It grows all over my yard and the birds love it. Thanks, MR!

  35. Jason LaCroix on July 7, 2023 at 10:56 am

    Looks like a real shit hole.

  36. tvshowmemes 2021 on July 7, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Where’s Boyd crowder and raylan givens? 😝

  37. Dorian Ward on July 7, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Pause: “ road circus”, funnel cakes,stop,get funnel cakes,continue.

  38. Eric J on July 7, 2023 at 11:01 am

    My grandad left Harlan during WWII and eventually settled in Floyd Co.; as a prominent businessman.

  39. JESUS versus the world on July 7, 2023 at 11:03 am

    The music @ 5.30 sounds Irish, thanks for sharing 😊

  40. Larry Kinnard on July 7, 2023 at 11:03 am

    My paternal roots are from Harlan County. My Dad was born in Twila and my Grandparents were from Wallins Creek.

  41. YawBear on July 7, 2023 at 11:06 am

    Introduction is the same way my family came through in the Gap and lived in Harlan before moving further into Indiana, they were with others from the same area, neighbors, family and their enemies!

  42. the1brod2 on July 7, 2023 at 11:08 am

    I would love to see a tour of Evarts. Ever hear of the Hurley family? I think their home was on the road to Black Mountain Baptist Church.

  43. jules wins on July 7, 2023 at 11:09 am

    Poke Salad, not Sallet.

  44. david stick on July 7, 2023 at 11:10 am

    It isn’t rocket science…why things are the way they are. Ever look at a map? Wonder why there are so many counties compared to surrounding states? Why they are shaped the way they are? How everybody knows everybody…yet the drugs are so rampant? Follow the money. Nothing will ever change because it is profitable to those few.

  45. Scrapextractor on July 7, 2023 at 11:11 am

    Hauled coal out of Loyall and Shelby yard for 15 years until obUma happened. He killed Kentucky coal. And our jobs

  46. DE Graham on July 7, 2023 at 11:13 am

    My great uncle was
    named for this area,
    or more like this Harlan
    was related to us.
    Sadly. Don’t ask.
    I’m honest and hopefully
    good. Not so much the
    rest of the clan.
    D*MN their sorry *sses, anyway.

  47. chadwell nolan on July 7, 2023 at 11:13 am

    My parents are from Harlan County. My dad from Chad and my mom from Lynch. I’m named after the man that founded Chad and Nolansburg.

  48. Lady Silver on July 7, 2023 at 11:14 am

    Wow! Accidentally came upon Harlan County mentioned in Carolyn Brown’s "Banty House" book.Googled it and found a link to your video. This was great content/quality. A small town with great history. KUDOS to Timothy, old & current perspective, so much detailing just a few minutes. Thanks for making this. 22 court houses destroyed & coalminer history…still alive & kicking.

  49. Kevin Powers on July 7, 2023 at 11:15 am

    My 4th GG served with Col Clark in the revolution and settled in eastern KY in 1780. Him and his family eventually migrated to Illinois territory in 1795. Originally from Virginia.

  50. Duke Cannon on July 7, 2023 at 11:16 am

    Harlan, come for the festival, stay for the meth.

Leave a Comment