Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 12: Land Use
Land Use is how we negotiate our space. Space can be used as one of the analytical tools we study in order to think historically. Yet, as Doreen Massy* has reminded us, “We cannot understand place by enclosing it in boundaries … space is a simultaneity of stories so far …” and is created by the connections of people to the land and connections between peoples and bigger geographies. The space in which Pine Mountain was created is more than geography and has been and is continually shaped, managed, and studied through actions that take place those peoples who occupy the space and their larger geographies. Land use is fluid. It is dynamic and it is a historical record. At Pine Mountain, this melding of the social, the physical and the mental — three types of space that Henri Lefebvre** sees as fundamental — can be seen in the archival record (documents and photographs) as well as in the current physical evidence of space use found in the social exchange and mental maps that those who share the space form . That space is theirs, in their stories, as much as it is the space documented in the official record.
*See: Massy, Doreen. (1994) Space, place, and gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
**See: Lefebvre, (1958; 1992) Henri. The Social Production of Space. Wiley-Blackwell.
Land use is one of the more fascinating and confounding aspects of the history of Pine Mountain Settlement School. In the archival record, land use is recorded by the following:
GUIDE TO LAND USE DOCUMENTS
Land Use: Coal Mine and Mining
Land Use: Gas
Land Use: Lands Unsuitable for Mining
Land Use: Liens, Right-of-Way, Roads
Land Use: Soil Survey by Bell & Harlan Co., KY