|elkhorn city thumbnails|
Elkhorn City is a small town located in Pike County, Kentucky near the Virginia state line, and sits at the mouth of the fabulous “Breaks of the Cumberland Gorge,” the largest canyon east of the Mississippi. Elkhorn City consists of approximately 800 residents in the city limits.
Within a stunning natural environment; the Appalachian Mountains shelter one of the most biologically diverse temperate rainforests on earth. The landscape has cultivated a clearly definable regional culture, complete with musical, linguistic, and culinary keystones. As a relatively Western region with plentiful natural resources, Appalachia has been strongly molded by individual ambition, corporate interest, timber and coal. This in turn has fostered a strong history of union activity and collective self-organizing.
Over the last few decades mass layoffs—chiefly caused by coal mine automation—have resulted in a local poverty rate of around twenty seven percent, more than twice the national average. The Median family income in the region is around $18,500, about half the national median of $38,900. Approximately thirty-seven percent of local children and twenty-six percent of elders live in poverty. The local tax base is further eroded by a history of taxing coal reserves owned by outside corporations at a rate that is less than one tenth of the rates for other real property.