Mine Wars Museum Reopens On This West Virginia Morning


On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about the reopening of the Mine Wars Museum in Matewan, which includes newly researched history about the labor strikes. Also, in this show, we have an update on the trial between Gov. Jim Justice and a Pennsylvania coal exporter. We also have this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

A virtual trial pitting billionaire coal magnate and governor of West Virginia Jim Justice and two of his family-owned coal companies against a Pennsylvania coal exporter is set to resume in Delaware next week. Brittany Patterson has more.  

In 2015, a group of historians and local community members opened the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, out of an old hardware store in downtown Matewan. The small building still bears bullet holes from the Matewan Massacre – a decades-long period of labor union strikes in early 1900s Appalachia.

After generating a worldwide interest in the Mountain State’s miner history, founders agreed to move the museum to a larger spot across the street that could host more exhibits. Chuck Keeney, a founding board member of the museum, spoke with southern coalfields reporter Caitlin Tan about the new additions.  

Roebuck “Pops” Staples was the patriarch of the gospel-soul family band The Staples Singers. Born in 1914, he died back in 2000. Pops performed twice on Mountain Stage, in 1992 and 1994, and both times he performed his song “Why Am I Treated So Bad?” It’s our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our Appalachia Health News project is made possible with support from CAMC and Marshall Health.

West Virginia Morning is produced with help from Glynis Board, Caitlin Tan, Jessica Lilly, Liz McCormick, Dave Mistich, Brittany Patterson, Eric Douglas, Corey Knollinger, Emily Allen, and Roxy Todd.

Andrea Billups is our news director. Glynis Board is our producer and host.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning