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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Matewan in Mingo County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Matewan and the Railroad

 
 
Matewan and the Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
1. Matewan and the Railroad Marker
Inscription. The Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W, now Norfolk Southern Corporation) has played a crucial role in Matewan’s history. The railraod reached the Matewan area in 1892 as part of the N&W’s Ohio Extension, which provided a direct route from Bluefield through the southwest West Virginia coalfields to the Ohio River. Matewan was incorporated in 1895 and soon became a regional center. The railroad tracks formed the central spine of the town, and several of Matewan’s historic commercial buildings have double facades, with one side facing the tracks and the other facing Mate Street.

The original Matewan Depot (below) was built in 1893 and served as a combined passenger and freight depot. Large quantities of coal passed through on their way east, and passengers could take the train east toward Bluefield or northwest to Williamson and beyond. The original depot fell into disrepair after the passenger trains stopped in 1969, and was torn down a few years later. The existing depot reconstruction was built in 2002 based on standard N&W plans to the west and across the tracks from the original depot and serves as a museum of the region’s rich heritage.

The railroad continues to play a major role in Matewan and in the region’s economy. In 2007 Norfolk Southern Corporation began the Heartland Corridor rail clearance project, which
Matewan Markers in Front of Replica Train Depot image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
2. Matewan Markers in Front of Replica Train Depot
included modification of tunnels and bridges to allow double-stacked freight cars to travel between the Port of Virginia and destinations in the Midwest and beyond. The nearby Hatfield Tunnel #2, which passes through Kentucky from Sprigg to Matewan, West Virginia, was part of this project. Originally blasted from local bedrock in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, Hatfield Tunnel #2 needed modifications to improve the structural integrity and increase clearance through the use of shotcrete and rock dowel reinforcement.

 
Location. 37° 37.363′ N, 82° 10.096′ W. Marker is in Matewan, West Virginia, in Mingo County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 1056 and Main Street, on the right when traveling south on State Highway 1056. 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 Area History (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
Matewan Markers image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
3. Matewan Markers
View to south; Tug Fork flood gate in background
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. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
View to East Towards Downtown Matewan image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
4. View to East Towards Downtown Matewan
 
 
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 170 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 31, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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