As America prospered during the 19th, 20th, and into the 21st centuries, a population of hardy workers sprung from seemingly nowhere. Many of these workers found work within the coal industry, which was the fuel for America’s industrial (more precisely electrical) fire. Coal was abundant within the Appalachian Mountain Range, and from this abundance, towns sprung up to grant the growing mass of citizens residence. In 1834, the city of Paintsville was established (under the name Paint Creek until 1843). This town flourished for over a century—housing, educating, and employing the men and women that sought work within the mines, and in the region surrounding them. Paintsville for a very long time was a town with an abundance of enterprise that thrived amongst itself, and atop the backs of hard working Kentuckians. But, as the 21st century rolled in, the jobs and industry spoke of before began to roll out. As the United States Government enacted legislation upon the coal industry, slowly killing it due to its harmful effects upon the environment, Paintsville saw a decline in its wellbeing.
And this is how it stands today. Paintsville lacks much industry other than fast food chains and stores such as Walmart and Lowe’s, causing what seems to be a lack of livelihood. But, the citizens who were forced to grow watching their town decline, and those living within the decline today, wish to see it return to the state that it once was. Many dedicated people have worked and brought local industry to the region. As well as this, the school system within Paintsville works on many projects to encourage students to help build a better future for the residents of Paintsville through programs (such as this) and community action. And, thanks to many members of the community, the future and present for Paintsville has not seemed so bright since its height so many years ago.