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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Pine Mountain Settlement School

Pine Mountain Settlement School

Bledsoe, Kentucky

Remotely situated, Pine Mountain operated as a boarding school for mountain children from 1913-1949. The school may be the best surviving example of a rural settlement institution from the early 20th century. Its educational programs were, and continue to be, innovative. From the outset, Pine Mountain had a dual mission: to educate the young and to serve the local community. School founders respected the local culture and did not attempt to substitute an alien culture for the indigenous. Rather, they worked to strengthen people's faith in their own heritage and used the mountain environment and local cultural traditions as vehicles for learning. The campus plan and many of its buildings were designed by one of the first women architects in the country, Mary Rockwell Hook, a detail that contributes to the school's National Historic Landmark status. Thanks to a recent Save America’s Treasure’s grant, the school is able to address a variety of immediate environmental threats.

Photo: Pine Mountain Settlement School

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