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MATEWAN AREA


A N-S (even though it says Conrail) coal train rolls through Matewan. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


Dowtown Matewan, famous for the shootout between the miners' advocate, Sherriff Sid Hatfield, and the Baldwin-Felts mine guards hired by a nearby coal company (Stone Mountain Coal Co.) to evict striking miners from company housing. In the background it a truck for the "Hatfield and McCoy Furniture" store. The decendents of the feuding families are probably still in the area. (Sep. 2001 image by author)


These brass plugs in the side of a store in downtown Matewan fill in bullet holes left from the "Battle of Matewan." (Dec. 2006 image by author)


In 1987 a movie was made about the miners'/union's struggles in Matewan. However, the movie was actually filmed at other locations in Southern West Virginia. The "Battle of Matewan" scene, shown here, was actually filmed in Thurmond, WV. In the actual 1921 battle the mayor of Matewan, Cable Testerman, was killed. A few months later Sid Hatfield was murdered by Felts detectives on the steps of the McDowell County court house.(Image from Matewan, Cinecom Pictures, 1987)


Sid Hatfield and Cable Testerman are buried less than a mile away from Matewan in the Hatfield Cemetery in Buskirk, Kentucky. (2015 image by author)


It was the Stone Mountain Coal Corp. that evicted the coal miners from the coal camp houses near Matewan. Here are a few of those very homes that have survived. Stone Mountain called their mine M.T. 11, and it was a short lived operation that lasted from 1920 until 1925. (Mar. 2005 image by author)


Ultimately, the coal companies lost their battle and the United Mine Workers of America union came into the area in the 1930's. Here is an old UMWA union hall in the Stone Mountain Coal Corp. camp, which is ironic. However, unionized coal mines in Southern West Virginia are on the wane now, and have been for some time.(Mar. 2005 image by author)

When in Matewan you should visit the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum.


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