Traveling WV: West Virginia Mine Wars Museum

Miners pose in front the mine at Omar. (WV Mine Wars Museum, Kenneth King Collection)

It was one of the most violent labor uprisings in United States history, and eventually became the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War. The mine wars in the southern coalfields of West Virginia were an ugly and bloody affair, now there's a museum dedicated to telling the story, and preserving the history of that dark time.

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, located in Matewan in Mingo County, houses documents, photographs, and artifacts from the mine wars, but more importantly, it honors the lives of the miners and their families that endured terrible working conditions, and insulting wages at the expense of big coal companies. The story of the mine wars culminated with the formation of The United Mine Workers Union, but the sacrifice in blood is well documented at this fascinating museum located at ground zero of the Matewan Massacre of 1920.

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