Justified's Harlan County, Part 2



A few more photos from Harlan, in anticipation of Justified's Season 3 premiere. First up, Evarts High School "Home of the Wildcats," now closed. In Season 2, we find out that Raylan Givens played baseball for the school’s team against Dickie Bennett (who played for another team in the county). We also get the backstory on Dickie's limp. Incidentally, both of Jeff's parents went to school here:





Most of the homes in Harlan are built up so that living quarters are well above ground level, as many residential areas are in flood zones. There isn’t a ton of space to build, so houses are often set right against the side of a mountain. The scenes of homes in large open areas, like Ava Crowder's or Arlo Givens' on Justfied--not so much (at least not anywhere I've seen). Here are some typical homes, nestled between mountain and railroad track:




ATVing is mentioned on the show now and again, a nice touch since the area is trying to rebrand itself as the "Birthplace of Adventure Tourism." In recent years Harlan has attempted, with success, to attract ATV enthusiasts and create a market for other outdoor activities like ziplining, hiking etc. You see the yellow "[ATV] ahead" roadsigns everywhere:





First of all, I have to apologize for the quality of the next photo—as I mentioned last post, we were on our way out of Harlan when we decided to take some quick shots for the blog. Probably should have stopped and turned around for a better angle, but there you have it. This is the Harlan County Detention Center. If anyone is taken into custody and held over before going on to Lexington or elsewhere, this is where they'll be (a shot of the entrance can be seen on the prison's official website):



A cemetery in Harlan, seen from Highway 38. There are several, but I took this shot because some of Jeff's family happen to be buried here. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say there are deaths on Justified. This graveyard is typical of others in Harlan County as a final resting place for several characters:



The character Mags Bennett—villain of Season 2—was based on real-life bootlegger Mag Bailey. Bailey sold bootleg liquor in Harlan for many years, had several sons, and appears to have been well-liked and tolerated, to a degree, by the authorities (she was brought to court many times, never convicted). Bailey operated, in part, out of a home with a hidden drive-through area in front. I'm told buying alcohol was a similar procedure to picking up fries from McDonald's (and viewed as equally routine and innocuous). One person would come out of the bootlegger's house to take the order and cash from the customer in the car, return to the house, and a second person would come out to deliver the beer/liquor. Very tidy and all hidden behind a barrier—basically a privacy wall built between the highway and drive to "shield" transactions from law enforcement. Jeff found this one of the most quintessential, uniquely Harlan experiences as a kid (I think he even met the real Mags). The drive-through area and house are long gone, but this is where the operation once was:






Justified screencaps, used in collage at top of post, courtesy FX
posted by Rachel