West Virginia Mine Wars Museum Set to Open

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A museum dedicated to the Matewan Massacre and other labor struggles in West Virginia’s southern coalfields is opening next month in Matewan.

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum will debut on May 16. United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts is among the scheduled speakers at the grand opening.

In 1920, 10 men died after a gunfight between miners and coal company security guards in Matewan. A few months later, thousands of miners marched from Charleston to Logan. It led to the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, where the miners eventually surrendered to federal troops.

The Matewan gunfight occurred outside what is now the museum. Board member Lou Martin says bullet holes are still present in the museum’s brickwork.