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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ansted in Fayette County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Hawks Nest Strike

 
 
Hawks Nest Strike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 14, 2021
1. Hawks Nest Strike Marker
Left Photo Caption
This 1891 photograph shows a westbound C&O train of empty hoppers crossing the wooden truss bridge into town.
(Photo courtesy of the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society)

Right Photo Caption
During the 1880 strike, the town of Ansted closely resembled this circa 1890s photograph which shows Hawks Nest to the left, a wooden C&O bridge in the center, and the depot for the town of MacDougal to the right.
(Photo courtesy of the Charles Goddard Collection, Fayette County Public Libraries, Oak Hill, WV)
Inscription.  Like many other areas of West Virginia, coal mining has played an important role in the history of Ansted and the surrounding area. Soon after the 1873 completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, coal mines began springing up in the New River Gorge region surrounding Ansted. The nearby Hawks Nest mine was one of the earliest. In 1872, the Gauley-Kanawha Coal Company was organized by Dr. David T. Ansted and George W. Imboden. The following year they opened a mine just below the summit of Gauley Mountain, and in 1875 changed the name to the Hawks Nest Coal Company. A system of mine car tramways was used to transport the coal from Ansted down to the railroad cars at the bottom of the gorge.
This area was also the site of West Virginia's first coal strike. On January 12, 1880, West Virginia National Guard troops were dispatched to Hawks Nest to step in and defuse a conflict. Operators at Coal Valley (present day Montgomery) had informed their union miners that the competition from the Hawks Nest mine was hurting their business. Upon hearing this, the Coal Valley miners made their way to Hawks Nest and threatened the miners there with
Hawks Nest Strike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, May 14, 2021
2. Hawks Nest Strike Marker
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harm if they continued working.
William N. Page, manager of the Hawks Nest mine, approached Fayette County Sheriff C.H. McClung who, fearing loss of votes in the upcoming election, offered no help. When Governor Henry Mason Matthews was contacted, he ordered troops to the scene and order was restored shortly after their arrival. Several miners from Coal Valley were charged with intimidation in the Fayette County Civil Court.
 
Erected by America's Byways and National Coal Heritage Area.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceLabor Unions. A significant historical date for this entry is January 12, 1880.
 
Location. 38° 8.127′ N, 81° 5.915′ W. Marker is in Ansted, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 60) and Holley Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ansted WV 25812, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Nelson Page (here, next to this marker); History Around the Cupola (a few steps from this marker); Did You Know? (a few steps from this marker); Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster (a few steps from this marker); Jackson's Mother (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); New Haven Veterans' Memorial (about
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300 feet away); Westlake Cemetery (about 600 feet away); Tyree Tavern (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ansted.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 15, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 15, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Jun. 15, 2021