Nestled deep in the mountains in far Southeastern Kentucky, bordering Virginia and not too far from the Tennessee line, Harlan County is an example of a community where history lives side by side with the modern world.
Despite an estimated population of only around 27,000 people, the community has made an impact on the wider world around it. Known nationally as part of the setting for the FX show Justified and the hometown of the main character, Raylan Givens, Harlan has been a part of popular culture for the better part of the last century. Kentucky Justice, a National Geographic series about law enforcement in Kentucky, is set in Harlan; fictional character Robert E. Lee Prewitt, a main character in the movie From Here to Eternity, is from Harlan. In music, songs about or involving Harlan have been written or covered by artists including Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Patty Lovelace, Louden Wainwright III, David Allen Coe and others. Legendary University of Kentucky broadcaster Cawood Ledford was born in the county, as well as famous UK basketball player Wah Wah Jones and contemporary musicians Nick Lachey and Jordan Smith. The impact in popular media of such a small community is the envy of many larger towns and cities.
Harlan County was initially founded in 1819 from parts of Knox county and named after Silas Harlan, a Revolutionary War major and explorer who was friends with James Harrod and helped establish several forts and settlements in Kentucky. However, while the county wasn’t created until 1819, it had been settled long before. Pioneers had settled in the area far earlier, but some of the earliest records show the establishment of a small town named Mount Pleasant, later named Spurlock. The county seat was officially named Harlan in a ceremony in 1912.
As one of the main centers of coal mining in the region, Harlan County was known nationally as early as the 1930s as a hot point between miners trying to organize into a union and mine owners trying to prevent them. This occurred again in the 1970s and was recorded in an award-winning documentary.
As coal mining in the region is slowly phasing out, the county has diversified. Modern day Harlan County is known as an outdoor destination now, with off-roading, ziplining, horseback trails and hiking, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, camping, and, for those seeking an easier outdoor experience, golfing.
Harlan also sponsors no less than 25 events each year, catering to a variety of interests. The festivals are highlighted by the Annual Poke Salat Festival, which occurs the first full weekend in June. The Poke Salat Festival includes entertainment, games, carnival rides and food, and in 2018 will celebrate its 63rd year. Other festivals and events in the course of the year feature runs, off-road races, celebrations of the natural beauty around Harlan and many other events.
In a community this size and this active, though, there will always be legal needs. Billy Johnson and the Billy Johnson Law Firm have practiced from offices in Pikeville since 1998 and look forward to serving the legal needs of all Kentuckians for decades to come. Focusing on personal injury, Billy Johnson and the Johnson Law Firm have more than 15 years of experience pursuing claims. In a personal injury case, victims seek compensation for injuries or damages caused by the negligence or misdeeds of others. Billy Johnson and the Billy Johnson Law Firm have pursued claims in several areas and situations, including truck, car and motorcycle accidents; wrongful death claims; workplace injuries; slip and fall incidents; defective products; gas explosions; catastrophic injuries; severe burns; and traumatic brain (TBI) and spinal cord injuries.
No matter your situation, the Johnson Law Firm has the knowledge, experience and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free evaluation, contact us online or call us at 1.606.433.0682.