Haldeman Community Oral Histories
The story of Haldeman, Kentucky is a familiar one to those familiar with the history of the region. It is a tale that unfolds over the course of a century, one defined by the development of rich resources, the hopes and dreams of strong mountain families, labor conflicts, outward migration, and tenacious and inventive citizens who continue to love and serve their community against formidable odds.
The story begins with the incorporation of the Kentucky Fire Brick Company in 1906 by Lansford P. Haldeman of Portsmouth, Ohio. Haldeman acquired 555 acres along Triplett Creek and Bearskin Branch in Rowan and Carter counties that had both abundant flint clay deposits and access to the Chesapeake and Ohio rail line. Soon men began to move to the area to work as miners or to mold, fire, finish, and stack the heat resistant refractory brick used to line the steel-industry’s open-hearth furnaces.
These oral histories provide rich details of the history of Haldeman and the lives of its people. They are part of an on-going participatory research project to document the community’s past through the memories of its residents. If you would like to participate in the project, please contact RoseMary Johnson or Joy Gritton.