Down in the Mine: American Coal Miners and Their Songs, 1890-1960

A Road Scholar Program by Bucky Halker

Harry Fain coal loader Inland Steel Company Wheelwright 1 2 Mines Wheelwright Floyd County Kentucky NARA 541452 466x600

Coal miners in Illinois and the rest of the US have a long tradition of writing poetry and music related to their occupation. This program brings that tradition to the forefront. “Down in the Mine” combines music performance (guitar and vocal) and spoken commentary.

The presentation features songs and poems by coal miners, including Illinois miners. The commentary places this important folk tradition in a broader historical context and offers details on coal mining, coal-miner bards and songwriters, early country music, and individual songs.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Ray Gates, Museum Coordinator & Jodi Heberling, Board President at


The CCHS follows the recommendations of the Christian County Health Department & we change our COVID-19 precautions & mitigation strategies as dictated by the Department. Our primary mitigation strategy is, that this event is outdoors. The only time participants will be indoors is when they are touring our historical buildings and using the accessible restroom in our office building. If our health department is requiring masks indoors at that time, then so will we. We will sanitize surfaces & post signs.

Learn more about Bucky Halker, this program, and how to book it here.