Join Big South Fork for the Second Annual Blue Heron Decoration Day, Saturday, May 7, 2016

Blue Heron Decoration Day
Minors in front of the Blue Heron Tipple Bridge


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News Release Date: April 11, 2016

Contact: Thomas Safranek, (606) 376-3787

Contact: Chris Derman, (423) 569-9778

Stearns, Kentucky: Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area announces the second annual Blue Heron Decoration Day event.  This event is hosted at the Blue Heron Interpretive Center on Saturday, May 7, from 12:00 to 4:30 p.m. (ET).  This is an opportunity for park visitors and families that once lived and worked in the Stearns Coal mining communities to join together for an afternoon of food, music, and fellowship. Participants are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch or food and drink will be available from the concession stand.  There will be presentations from National Park Service resource experts, coal mining interpretative programs, as well as live music from the South Fork Jammers


The park’s museum collection contains over 300 oral histories from local people and many historic photographs relating to the area.  However, the National Park Service also recognizes that there are many more important photographs that could be included in the permanent museum collection.  The park is interested in obtaining copies of historic photographs of the people, places and events that occurred in the Big South Fork area prior to the park's establishment.


If you have photographs that you would like to incorporate into the National Park Service’s museum collection please bring them with you to the event.  During Decoration Day, park staff will be available to copy historic photographs of the Big South Fork area.  Photo scanning will occur at the Blue Heron Depot (Mine 18) from 12:00 to 4:30 p.m.  It would be most helpful if photo owners can identify the places or people in the photograph, and they will need to sign a release for the Park Service to use the photos in documenting the area’s history.  In return for scanning a photo, the park will provide the photo owner with a free archival copy of the photograph and a digital copy of the photo if desired (please bring a CD, flash drive or provide us your email address).  The Big South Fork staff appreciates the opportunity to help preserve the rich cultural history of the area.


Decoration Day is free of charge and wheelchair accessible.  Everyone is welcome.  This program is accessible by car or by the Big South Fork Scenic Railway.  For directions or additional information, please call the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at (606) 376-3787.  For tickets on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, please call (606) 376-5330. 

For more information about Decoration Day, please go to:


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s more than 400 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at 

Last updated: July 11, 2016

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4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, TN 37841


(423) 569-9778

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