Remembering Jenkins in the 30's and comparing it to our Jenkins of today; we see changes both for the better and those we label as progress.
The Jenkins of the 30's was a mining camp owned by the Consolidation Coal Company. Each home, each business and even the schools was connected to the parent company.
G‑41 The brick and stone used in the buildings came from two sections of our town. The clay used in making the bricks came from the section of Brickyard Hill. The stone was cut from the quarry in Wheaton Hollow.
Most of the homes of the 30's had no central heat, a few had bathrooms and some houses were the duplex type, having two families under one roof. The house I brought my family to was this latter type. I found out this was built for the first hospital in Jenkins. They later moved the hospital to the hill near Wheaton Hollow.
In the center of town were these: The Post Office (where the lab part of the clinic is now), the beauty shop (where the waiting room of the clinic is now), upstairs was the Masonic Hall. A restaurant, managed by Mike Ticco (where the drug store, insurance manager's office, eye doctor's office is today), the warehouse and store manager's office were in the building where Lou Egger had her music studio and apartment. The Recreational Building (where the clinic's parking space is now and part of the clinic). This building consisted of a barber shop, pool room downstairs, the second floor theater, fountain,º bus station, drug department and a hotel on the other floors. The office building is still being used today — no longer by the company but by other agencies — the meat market was in the building now called Carita's Cafe — the store was in the building where the Western Shopping Center is now. Behind the meat market was the ice company (in those days most people had an ice box on their back porch and ice was delivered to their house daily or several times a week) and the ice cream was made here also. The bakery was in the American Legion building and all the bread, cakes and cookies sold in the company store were made here.
Near the old office building, where the Jenkins theatera and public library and Bethlehem Mines offices are today, was a park. Here children came to play, people to rest and admire its beauty. Also, it was used by the school when putting on their lovely "May Day Pageant".
In the 40's came another change — the company sold the businesses and houses. Mrs. Crase and I were fortunate in being able to buy the barber and beauty shops.
The houses were bought by the people living in them and most have been remodeled to suit the individual's taste.
The two greatest changes affecting me personally were the opportunity of owning my own business and the increase in the size of my family. I came to Jenkins bringing a wife and two small daughters — today, as Mrs. Crase and I consider our family, it has grown to include two sons-in‑law, three grandsons (and their wives), one granddaughter and two great-grandsons.
G‑42 During the forty-three years I have been in Jenkins, I have been fortunate to have my life touched by many wonderful people. To me Jenkins is a good place filled with friendly people. Mrs. Crase and I have served five generations to a number of families from our Barber and Beauty Shop — for this we are thankful.
a The History of Jenkins, Kentucky mentions at least six theaters in Jenkins at various times, and maybe as many as nine:
one in each of the five company recreational centers (in Jenkins, East Jenkins, Burdine, Dunham and McRoberts: pp. G‑26, G‑15, H‑8, C‑5), and, reading between the lines, maybe one in Jenkins for black people (H‑8);
a theater in the same building as the Consol offices, in 1950, that seated 800 (J‑6);
and the theater mentioned here, which may be this one:
This classic photograph, previously unpublished, was contributed by Mary Ann Infantino; partly water-damaged, it shows the Reda Theatre in East Jenkins sometime between 1948 and 1950. The Reda Brothers Amusement Company was a private commercial firm with additional theaters in Vicco, London, Pineville, Middlesboro and Richmond, KY.
Photo © Mary Ann Infantino 2008; published on this site by kind permission.
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