Matewan, West Virginia Has A Dark History That May Never Be Forgotten
If your family comes from a coal mining town in West Virginia, then you’ve surely heard a few stories. There’s a lot of dark history passed on in West Virginian oral tradition, and some of it is true. Matewan is a seemingly peaceful little town of 500 with a railway depot, homey restaurants, and scenic hiking trails. But this town has a darker, bloody history, making it the most fabled city in West Virginia. Let’s take a trip through time to revisit the atrocities of the Matewan massacre.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/
The events in Matewan sparked attention that ultimately led to the miner uprising and the Battle of Blair Mountain. Although many miners died in the battle and change was slow to come, it ultimately raised awareness of the terrible conditions, and miners were eventually able to form unions to advocate for their safety. This, combined with the infamous Hatfield–McCoy feud, makes this community the most fabled city in West Virginia.
The Mine Wars Museum continues to welcome visitors to this day, and special tours can be scheduled for groups. In addition to finding hours of operation, you can read more about the history of Matewan and the Mine Wars on their website.