Pictorial: A trip to Matewan, West Virginia

The Matewan Depot Replica Museum is a replica of the train depot that stood across the railroad tracks from downtown Matewan until the 1960s. It houses artifacts and info from the Hatfield/McCoy Feud as well as the Matewan Massacre. It also has a gift shop. Photo By David Taylor

By David Taylor

Because of its rich history that includes the Hatfield–McCoy feud and Matewan Massacre events, the center of the Matewan, West Virginia, located in Mingo County, has been designated as the Matewan Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.

Interesting sights and tours can be had while visiting the town including the Matewan Depot Replica Museum. Visitors can explore and experience the Matewan Depot Replica Museum at their own pace. The Depot also functions as a welcome center, so, as they say in the Mountain State, feel free to stop by and ask for tips about where to go and what to do.

Matewan was the scene of an infamous battle between coal miners and agents of the Baldwin-Felts Agency that led to the death of the town’s mayor, two miners, and seven agents. Photo by David Taylor.
Miners traveling to Mingo County to free fellow miners they felt were being held illegally for defying a martial law declared by the governor engaged in what is now known as the Battle of Blair Mountain. Ultimately, the federal government stepped in sending plans, ammunition and troops to the area after several days of fierce battle between miners and local law enforcement officials.
Wingo’s Grill is connected to the Hatfield McCoy Resort Inn and provides customers with an affordable menu of foods and beverages. Wingo’s specializes in freshly smoked pork Boston Butt BBQ, served with homemade BBQ Sauces. Photo by David Taylor
One of several displays visible at the Matewan Depot Replica Museum. Photo by David Taylor

The town of Matewan has a unique feature that surrounds the entire downtown area – a floodwall. The exterior of the wall tells the history of Matewan through carefully placed vertical fluting that forms an etched mural. This feature is a must-see in town. Visitors walking the path see the art on the floodwall while enjoying the Tug Fork River.

The floodwall is quite the the thing to see. It’s depictions of the town’s history are outstanding, as well as its primary reason to be which is protecting the are from the chronic flooding that once plagued the town.

Matewan is a nice little community teeming with history. It’s well worth the visit when you are in the area. It’s also a great destination with a lot to see and do.

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