WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – The grand opening of the Hatfield and McCoy Country Museum, located at the former Williamson High School on Alderson Street, will be held Saturday, October 22 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The grand opening event will be free to the public. Bill Richardson, Hatfield and McCoy Country Museum Curator, stated, “This will be the only opportunity to see the museum for free.”
The museum offers an impressive array of artifacts, displays, and information featuring the rich history and heritage of the region. The museum features one-of-a-kind artifacts from the region’s history and informational displays about the Hatfield McCoy Feud, our coal heritage and more. “You will see items that were actually touched by Devil Anse Hatfield, Johnse Hatfield, Sid Hatfield, Henry Ford and other important historical figures,” Richardson explained.
Richardson stated, “The museum has the largest collection of original Hatfield and McCoy artifacts anywhere in the world. No museum in West Virginia, except the Cultural Center in Charleston, has more one of a kind, historic items on display. There are items in the museum that the Smithsonian would kill to have.”
Items on display include the not-guilty verdict for Sid Hatfield in his trial for the Matewan Massacre shootout; Henry Ford’s scrip making machine; the burial records for Devil Anse, Johnse, Cap and Levicy Hatfield; the death certificate and burial records for Mamie Thurman; the deed for the contested 5,000 acres of land that some believe started the Hatfield McCoy Feud; a gun found at the site of the Feud’s climactic battle – The Battle of Grapevine Creek and much more. Plus there will be items seen on American Pickers and authenticated by the Antiques Roadshow.
Other attractions include the interior of a 1920s coal camp house, the Underground Theater that looks like the inside of a coal mine, the Bee Ward Coleman collection – one of the largest collections of coal mining artifacts anywhere in the country and unique displays about the Hatfield McCoy Feud, coal mining and our region’s rich history.
Richardson is looking forward to the grand opening and feels that it will be a source of pride for Mingo County residents. “There’s been a lot of bad news lately and everyone is eager for some good news. I hope people will come to the museum opening and show support for something positive happening in our area. I think people will be proud to have a facility like this in our area,” Richardson stated.
The museum is located at the former Williamson High School Building at 801 Alderson St. in Williamson, WV. “Come as you are and enjoy one of the best museums in the state,” Richardson said.
After the grand opening, visitors will be required to pay an admission fee. At the last regular meeting of the Mingo County Commission, the commission voted upon admission prices for the museum. The admission will be $3 for adult residents of Mingo County with proper identification and $5 for adult visitors that are not residents of Mingo County. Mingo County children age 6-18 must be accompanied by an adult and will be charged an admission fee of $1. Children age 6 -18 that are not residents of Mingo County will be charged an admission fee of $2. Children age 5 and under will not be required to pay an admission fee. Special group and school rates are available. Those interested in group and school rates should contact the museum or the Mingo County Commission for more information.