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Pine Mountain Settlement School Records



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Selected Records

Selected Photographs

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Pine Mountain Settlement School Records, 1913-1984 | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Pine Mountain Settlement School Records, 1913-1984Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky).

Extent: 46.0 Boxes (General). More info below.


The collection is arranged in two parts and further arranged in series as follows:

Part A: Selected Records, 1911-1983 (95 Reels of Microfilm)

Series 1: Board of Trustees, Minutes and Reports, 1913-83

Series 2: Director’s Office Files, 1911-49

Subseries A: Correspondence, 1916-49

Subseries B: Subject Files, 1911-49

Series 3: Student Records, c.1919-49 (Contains RESTRICTED records)

Series 4: Library Files, 1911-83

Part B: Selected Photographs, c.1864-1984 (3685 Photo-reproductions)

Series 1: Kendall Basset Album

Series 2: Buildings and Campus

Series 3: Campus Life

Series 4: Christmas

Series 5: Environmental Education

Series 6: Friends and Neighbors

Series 7: Life and Works

Series 8: Special Events

Series 9: Students

Series 10: Workers

Series 11: Pine Mountain Early Days

Series 12: Helen DeLong’s Photographs

Series 13: Arthur Dodd Photographs

Series 14: Harmon Foundation Movie Stills, 1942

Series 15: Little Laurel and Line Fork Extension Centers

Series 16: Ethel McCullough Photographs

Series 17: Margaret Motter Photographs

Series 18: Katherine True Photographs, 1923

Series 19: Scenery

Subjects: Education -- Kentucky -- Harlan County, Harlan County (Ky.) -- History., Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.)., Rural schools -- Kentucky -- History.

Languages: English


Kentuckian Katherine Pettit and Smith College Graduate Ethel DeLong finalized the incorporation of Pine Mountain Settlement School (Harland County, Kentucky) in 1913. Land for the school was donated by William and Sally Dixon Creech, early settlers who wanted wider educational opportunities for area children. Katherine Pettit had helped found Hindman Settlement School in 1902. As stated in its Article of Incorporation, the purpose of Pine Mountain Settlement School was to provide an education that focused on “industrial, intellectual and moral training ….dominated by a Christian spirit and influences but entirely free from anything of a sectarian or denominational character.”

The first classes were held in an open-sided schoolroom and housing was makeshift. However, with the help of architect, Mary Rockwell Hook, buildings of native stone and wood were soon constructed. (Several of Mrs. Hook’s buildings were still in use in 1980).

From the beginning, the school produced much of its own food, provided its own electricity, heat, recreation and entertainment. Until 1949, Pine Mountain was a boarding school. Students were required to work in order to help run the school, meet their educational expenses, and develop useful skills. The school also encouraged the learning and sharing of traditional music and dance. The academic program was a standard one for its time. However, many of the teachers attracted to the school were above average in education and interest in educating the whole person.

Community health services included vaccination, trachoma, dental, and maternity clinics. Health education was carried on in rural schools and extension centers that also offered homemaker’s groups, community recreation, and Sunday Schools.

Death and / or retirement of the founders brought Glyn Morris to the directorship in 1931. Instead of solving socioeconomic problems with special services, he sought to address such problems through the school program itself. Morris and the staff emphasized the uniqueness of each student and focused on preparing them for the realities of life after leaving Pine Mountain. Staff restructured the curriculum and with the help of students, re-wrote texts. First year students were given a survey course covering all areas of learning offered by the school. Second year students managed the cooperative store, sold shares, kept accounts, stocked shelves, and analyzed the nutritional value of foods sold. Third year students studied community life in the classroom and served as aides to health workers, teachers, and recreation workers. The fourth year was spent in intensive preparation for the work each student planned to pursue after finishing at Pine Mountain. Students also shared in the making and enforcing of rules governing student life through an elected Citizenship Committee.

This approach continued throughout the Glyn Morris years and to a large extent the administrations of William D. Webb, 1942-44 and H.R.S. Benjamin, 1944-49. However, during the 1940s, the school began suffering acute financial problems, which eventually led to its coming under the direction of the Berea College Board of Trustees. With the end of the boarding program in 1949, Pine Mountain became part of the Harlan County school system.

During the directorship of Burton Rogers (1949-1972, Pine Mountain recruited and housed teachers, provided facilities and organized extracurricular activities for Harlan County children and young people. Settlement School staff started a preschool program, “The Little School” in 1963. A medical program continued until 1960, and later, space was provided for clinics run by the Harlan County Health Department and the Frontier Nursing Service.

In the 1960s the county school system decided that a larger public school would be built several miles from the Pine Mountain campus. In assessing facilities, capabilities, interests and educational needs of the day, Pine Mountain staff and the Board of Trustees concluded that they would begin to focus primarily on environmental education. Under the directorship of Alvin Boggs (1973-1983) formal programming began with school land used as the primary classroom. Programs are offered for adults as well as school-age groups. The School also hosts retreat groups, church camps and civic organizations, and has sponsored such special programs as a class for emotionally disturbed children, an annual Christmas play, and a number of short courses and workshops.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These are records and photographs documenting the founding, administration, work, and activities of the Pine Mountain Settlement School, Harlan County, Kentucky, 1864-1984.

Subject/Index Terms

Education -- Kentucky -- Harlan County
Harlan County (Ky.) -- History.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.).
Rural schools -- Kentucky -- History.

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Alternate Extent Statement: 6.0 linear feet

Access Restrictions: Records and photographs can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions:

Regarding records contained in the collection:

Pine Mountain Settlement School records were collected and organized in 1982.  Those having administrative, legal or historical value were microfilmed at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and all then returned to Pine Mountain.  The resultant microfilm master negative is owned by Berea College. A user copy is available for researchers.  Berea College does not own the copyright for the manuscripts or printed documents included in this microfilm edition. Therefore, it is the researcher’s responsibility to secure permission to publish from Pine Mountain Settlement School or its successors and assigns.  Due to the personal information they contain, some records such as student and personnel records may be RESTRICTED.

Regarding photographs in the collection:

Pine Mountain Settlement School photographs were organized and copied in 1985.  The copy negatives and a set of copy prints are owned by Berea College. A second set of copy prints and all originals were returned to Pine Mountain Settlement School.  Permission has been granted by Pine Mountain Settlement School for Berea College to reproduce all or part of the school’s photographs and to use them in slide or film presentations, display them or loan them for display, and to allow their use by researchers for reproduction and publication. The proper credit line for all of the above uses shall be, “Pine Mountain Settlement School Photographic Collection, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.” Records and photographs can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Related Materials:

Related Berea College Archives

Hindman Settlement School Collection, 1899-1977

Hindman Settlement School Records, 1899-1983

Katherine Pettit Papers, 1899-1937

Pine Mountain Settlement School Collection, 1913-1975

Leonard Roberts Papers, 1950-1983

Settlement Institutions of Appalachia Records, 1970-1982

J.A. Stucky Papers, 1903-1956

Related Archives at Other Institutions

Evelyn K. Well Papers, Country Dance and Song Society Archives MC 140, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, New Hampshire. (Pine Mountain Settlement School related photographs)

Preferred Citation: [Object identification], Pine Mountain Settlement School Records, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: The original guide to the collection was compiled and written by William C. Richardson, Archivist/Director.  Project staff for Part A: Selected Records included: Mary Zimmeth (Archivist/Director), Diana L. Hays (Assistant Archivist), and student archivists Vivian L. Hensley, J. Shepherd Speight, and Ele Workman. Project staff for Part B: Selected Photographs included: William C. Richardson (Archivist/Director), Shannon H. Wilson (Assistant Archivist), Patricia N. Ayers (Project Photographer) and student assistants Key Ho Lee, Sujatha Thampi, Laura J. Wilson, and Kevin D. Martin.

Finding Aid Revision History: The finding aid was updated in November 2015.

Other Note: BCA 0042 SAA 042

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Part:

[Part A: Selected Records],
[Part B: Selected Photographs, 1864-1984],

Part B: Selected Photographs, 1864-1984Add to your cart.
Note: A detailed Index to Selected Photographs is available in the Reading Room of the Special Collections and Archives Berea College. The index provides an item level description of the photographic collection and is divided into five parts: primary subject, secondary subject, date, original series and photo item-number. Please contact archivist for more information.
Box 15: ACTIVITIESAdd to your cart.
Box 16: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 17: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 18: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 19: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 20: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 21: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 22: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 23: ACTIVITIES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 24: ACTIVITIES, cont. ANIMALS ARCHITECTUREAdd to your cart.
Box 25: ARCHITECTURE, cont. ARTIFACTSAdd to your cart.
Box 26: CAMPUS BUILDINGS & GROUNDSAdd to your cart.
Box 27: CAMPUS BUILDINGS & GROUNDS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 28: CAMPUS BUILDINGS & GROUNDS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 30: EVENTSAdd to your cart.
Box 31: FOLK ARTS GOVERNMENTAdd to your cart.
Box 32: INDUSTRIES INTERIORSAdd to your cart.
Box 33: LANDSCAPESAdd to your cart.
Box 34: LANDSCAPES, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 35: LANDSCAPES, cont. MUSICAdd to your cart.
Box 36: OCCUPATIONS PEOPLEAdd to your cart.
Box 37: PEOPLE, cont. PORTRAITSAdd to your cart.
Box 38: PORTRAITS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 39: PORTRAITS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 40: PORTRAITS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 41: PORTRAITS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 42: PORTRAITS, cont.Add to your cart.
Box 43: PORTRAITS/STAFFAdd to your cart.

Browse by Part:

[Part A: Selected Records],
[Part B: Selected Photographs, 1864-1984],

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