Long isolated by the surrounding mountains, Hazard was opened to the outside world by the arrival of the railroad in 1912. The only access to the valley had previously been 45 miles down the North Fork of the Kentucky River or a two-week trip over the surrounding mountains. The railroad brought boom times to the town, but the Great Depression saw prosperity end as quickly as it had begun.
The song “High Sheriff of Hazard” was written by Tom Paxton in reference to a coal miner’s strike in 1964.
In 1981, several cast members of the television series The Dukes of Hazzard, including Catherine Bach, James Best, Sorrell Booke and Rick Hurst, visited Hazard during its Black Gold Festival.Soon afterwards, the series’ stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider made appearances in Hazard.
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