Interview with Douglas Lee Blair, March 20, 1989

Project: Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this second interview, Douglas Lee Blair describes his father, Sheriff John Henry Blair, as a fair man as well as a hill man or mountain man. Blair recalls that one of the hardest jobs his father had was to find illegal moonshine stills and prosecute the bootleggers. He describes some of his father's adventures.

Blair talks about some of the positive aspects of the coal mines including the coal owners who provided college scholarships. Blair also discusses the safety conditions of the mines when he was a child. During World War Two, Blair served as a marine in the Pacific Theatre. After the war he got a job in the lumber business owned by his wife's family. Soon after, he decided to try to get into coal mining. He describes how he got started at the Richmond Coal Company in 1954 mining blue gem coal. He discusses his preparation plant and the laboratory testing of the coal before they mined. He recalls some notable miners that he worked with including a man who mined with a goat, and another who dried dynamite in his stove. Blair also describes both the challenges and advantages of mining the blue gem coal, and he talks about the importance of state and federal inspectors in the mines.

Interview Accession

1989oh114_app230

Interviewee Name

Douglas Lee Blair

Interviewer Name

Henry C. Mayer

Interview Date

1989-03-20

Interview Keyword

Coal Operators

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Blair, Douglas Lee Interview by Henry C. Mayer. 20 Mar. 1989. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Blair, D.L. (1989, March 20). Interview by H. C. Mayer. Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Blair, Douglas Lee, interview by Henry C. Mayer. March 20, 1989, Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7mkk94b85p