In the southwestern region of the U.S. state of West Virginia on the border with the U.S. state of Kentucky is the small town of Matewan. It may not be a famous town, but it had a few events that took place here. The town played a role in the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. (A movie of the same name tells the story of the feud. Kevin Costner is an actor in the film.) It was also the site of what is known as the Battle of Matewan, a battle that took place on May 19, 1920, between local coal miners and a detective agency that came to evict some coal miners from a nearby camp. Ten people died to include the mayor of Matewan. Another thing about Matewan was that it was a stop on the Norfolk and Western Railway. The railroad did play a role in the Battle of Matewan as the detectives arrived in the town by train.
The train station was a passenger and a freight station. The town had regular passenger service until 1969. The station was abandoned and was eroding, but in 2000, the train station was rebuilt.
Today, the trains no longer stop here, but you may be fortunate to the Norfolk Southern Railway roll by.
Why visit if it is no longer an active train station? Well, it now is a Visitor Center, but is also houses a museum that tells the history of the region to include the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. There is also a small model train display showing the way it looked when the trains stopped here. You can take a look at the ticket office. If you need a souvenir, you can by something in the gift shop. There is also a red caboose at the station.
The Matewan Train Station is located at the intersection of West Virginia Route 49 and Kentucky Route 1056. Parking is on site.
Now you know about Matewan, West Virginia. Take a little historic journey.