We are rural.
Geographically we are a valley formed by Pine Mountain to the North and Cumberland Mountain to the South. The ranges run parallel on a slight Northeast diagonal. Within the bounds of these ranges are 12 unincorporated rural communities. Politically, the Valley crosses two counties in Tennessee – Claiborne and Campbell – and two in Kentucky – Whitley and Bell. Just a smidgen of Virginia that hosts Cumberland Gap park is the most eastern part of the Clearfork Valley. The Clearfork Valley can be easily drawn on a map by connecting four cities – Jellico, Pineville, Middlesboro, and LaFollette.
We, who live in the hollows, along ridges, or in the bottoms are un-incorperated communities with names : Clairfield, Eagan, Hamblin Town, Roses Creek, Morley, Fonde, Buffalo. Many of us have family that reaches back several generations, family that passed on love of these mountains to us, even as we pass it to our young. We are grounded in seasons and cycles of life, interwoven with the mountains life. Love and humanity recognize that we have to take care of each other as the political reality is very confusing when a need is to be met.
Our cash economic history is interesting as these mountains have contributed to the growth of industrial wealth and energy of the United States for the past 150 years. Our mountains have supplied coal, gas, timber, oil and plant materials needed by society for growth and sustenance.
We think of Education as an interactive life long experience, applying what we learn to our way of living daily.