National Scrip Collectors Association
W. Virginia scrip
President's Page
Balkan Coal Town
My time living at Balkan 1946-1953
We moved to Michigan in 1953 and lived in a small town called Keego Harbor. Located a home on Cass Lake Road, across the road from our church, Keego Harbor Baptist.

I am a retired High School Counselor. I prefer to work at smaller rural schools and volunteered to be Tech Coordinator.

I have extensive experience in technology. During the summer I signed up to work at a local newspaper, The Daily Journal. They were interesting in bringing color photography into their operation. I had extensive Photoshop experience and worked 6 summers at the newspaper, starting 1990.

One of the hobbies I have is restoring B&W photos and lightly adding color, especially Coal town pictures.

This is the way it looks with Photoshop work and the way I remember. Click color picture to go to the Balkan website.
One of my favorite Russell Lee pictures
Balkan Commissary
Click picture for larger version
My aunt & uncle visiting
Coal Miners Pay stub 1948
Herman Wilson
my step fathers picture given to my mother 2006
Click the above picture for larger version.
Some of the things done to avoid using the company store were:
1. Gardening and canning for winter use.
2. Killing own farm animals and storing for winter.
3. Buying food from community sources.
4. Hunting and fishing for meat source

Mining community policies on use of scrip were not standard.

Wages of $300. per month is equivalent amount in todays dollar is $4500. per month or $54000. per year. reference: Payscale

These pictures were taken in 1952-53 of friends at last house we lived at Balkan, Ky. The house was probably 40 years old and originally intended for mine superintendent. Note water pipe in upper left of right picture.