About the Museum
The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, in the heart of Historic Matewan, preserves and interprets artifacts and historical records of the local communities affected by the West Virginia Mine Wars, exploring historical events from multiple perspectives through the lives of ordinary people. We aim to be a community partner through youth education and promotion of heritage tourism.
The museum is located at 336 Mate Street in Matewan, in a building that still bears the scars of bullet holes from the Matewan Massacre shootout. Its offerings include exhibits about coal camp life, the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912-1913, the Matewan Massacre, the Miners’ March, and the Battle of Blair Mountain. Housing the largest exhibited collection of Mine Wars Era artifacts, oral histories, digitized film reels, maps, and historic photos, the museum simulates the journey that many mining families took as they organized together for their rights.
Who We Are
Chuck Keeney - Treasurer
Lou Martin - Secretary
Catherine Moore - President
Barbara Ellen Smith
Creative Director, Exhibition and Graphic Designer
Fundraising and Outreach Consultant
Founding Board Members
Building the museum
Creating the exhibitions you see today was an intensive process. In this video our creative director/ exhibition designer Shaun Slifer walks through the vision during the earlier stages of planning.
Many thanks to these sponsoring organizations for their ongoing support!
None of this would be possible without our Board President’s lifelong devotion to preserving the artifacts of the mine wars. Here is Kenny King at an early open house with some of the items he’s collected over the years. These artifacts are currently incorporated into the museums exhibits.