Matewan in Mingo County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Matewan Area History
The area is known for violence associated with the Hatfield-McCoy feud, which some claim was exaggerated by the press. The post-Civil War feud involved multiple generations of Hatfields,
The Mine Wars of the early 1920s centered around the United Mine Workers’ attempt to organize miners in the southwestern West Virginia smokeless coal fields. The union controversy combined with other factors created a volatile climate in the area that erupted in several violent events: the Battle of Matewan on May 19, 1920; the three-day Battle of the Tug May 12-14, 1921; the killing of Police Chief Sid Hatfield and his deputy, Ed Chambers, in Welch on August 1, 1921; and the Battle of Blair Mountain in August and September of 1921.
The turmoil set off by these events caused Governor Cornwell to activate the recently established West Virginia State
Tug Fork has caused flooding in the area since the earliest recorded settlement, and it has flooded Matewan an estimated 36 times since 1949. Major floods in 1957 and 1963 were followed by a record flood of April 4, 1977, which led to the destruction of over one-third of all dwellings, City Hall, a medical clinic and other facilities. Following the devastation of that flood, legislation was passed providing for construction of floodwalls in the region. Construction of the Matewan floodwall and supporting levee began in 1985, a year after another major flood hit the town, and was completed in 1996. A mural on the 2,350-foot wall depicts the Battle of Matewan and other events in local history.
The Matewan Depot replica museum includes details about these and other aspects of the region’s history. The Hatfield-McCoy feud and Battle of Matewan are regularly commemorated in the reenactments and other heritage events.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Matewan WV 25678, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Matewan and the Railroad (here, next to this marker); Mingo County / State of Kentucky (a few steps from this marker); Pawpaw Tree Incident (approx. 0.3 miles away in Kentucky); Site of Randolph McCoy House (approx. 2.9 miles away in Kentucky); McCoy Cemetery (approx. 3 miles away in Kentucky); Hog Trial Site (approx. 3 miles away in Kentucky); Hog Trial/Election Fight (approx. 3 miles away in Kentucky); Site of Killing of Asa Harmon McCoy (approx. 4.7 miles away in Kentucky). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Matewan.
Categories. • Disasters • Labor Unions • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 252 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 31, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.