Wednesday, June 21, 2017

West Virginia Trip Post #5 - Battle of Blair Mountain

On our first full day in West Virginia on a recent high school field trip, we drove as close as we could to Blair Mountain.  Blair Mountain holds historical importance as it was the site of a real battle between union coal miners and the coal mine operators.  It was a time in which coal miners were treated horribly and seeking to unionize and gain greater benefits and rights as employees.  The battle took place in 1921 and over one million rounds were fired before the battle came to an end.  I, however, am far, far from being an expert on this.  As I stated before, this trip to West Virginia was organized by my colleague who is a historian who focuses on the history of coal in West Virginia.  I was just along for the ride.  :-)

Battle for Blair Mountain

More recently there is another battle for Blair Mountain.  The site is owned by a private coal company trying to destroy the mountain through the mountain top removal efforts to extract coal from the ground.  Other groups are fighting to prevent this and declare Blair Mountain an historical site.  On our trip we drove as close as we could to Blair Mountain.  The land is privately owned so getting any closer would be trespassing.

That picture, aside from seeing the mountain off in the distance, is all we were able to see.  The drive to this area is beautiful!  Lots of curvy, winding roads, but beautiful!

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