Press Room

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum Invites the Public to Celebrate the Dedications of Public Monuments this Labor Day Weekend

Guest Contributor

August 23, 2022


August 23, 2022– “The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum Invites the Public to Celebrate the Dedications of Public Monuments this Labor Day Weekend.”

Community members of Marmet outside of George Buckley Community Center, planning for the monument that will soon be dedicated there.

Earlier this year, the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum launched Courage in the Hollers: Mapping the Miners’ Struggle for a Union, a new public history and monument project in the southern West Virginia coalfields, funded by Monument Lab, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and Museum members.

The project’s first phase takes place in Marmet (Kanawha County) and Clothier (Logan County). A series of public meetings were held to elicit community feedback on the monument’s design and intent. After nearly one year in the making, the Museum and its local community partners are excited to unveil and dedicate the monument's designs and associated programming this Labor Day Weekend.

Despite the unprecedented success of Blair 100, little existed in the landscape of West Virginia to commemorate this American history beyond a small marker at the foot of Blair Mountain and the Mine Wars Museum in Matewan. The footprints of the Miners’ 50-Mile March, its stories, and its contribution to American history are virtually invisible today.

Community members in Clothier speaking about the monument.

Courage in the Hollers is reversing this intended erasure.

“We’re developing a series of community-created public monuments within the rural Appalachian landscape that memorialize a history that was explicitly removed from educational curricula and that rarely appeared in history books. Why was this dramatic story suppressed? Because it was a critical lived example of the power of cross-racial, multi-ethnic solidarity,” says Shaun Slifer, Lead Designer and Creative Director of the Museum.

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum intends to continue the community-driven development of historic sites along the entire Miners’ March, and eventually, Blair Mountain itself, much of which is still company land.

Tom Long and Patty McGrew, Marmet community members posing for the monument silhouettes.

Monuments and historic markers will memorialize the Battle of Blair Mountain and celebrate the collective efforts of the multiethnic, multiracial working-class army that stood up against oppression, leaving an indelible mark on American history.

We invite the public to join us in this mission, and celebrate this Labor Day Weekend with public dedication events in the communities of Marmet and Clothier:

  • Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 at 1:00pm at the UMWA Local Hall 2395, End of Coal Valley Road, off Hwy 17, Clothier, WV 25183
  • Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 at 4:00pm in Marmet at the George Buckley Community Center, 8505 MacCorkle Ave, Marmet, WV 25315

  • Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by September 1:
  • Project partners include the International United Mine Workers of America, UMWA Local 1440, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the Berea College Appalachian Center.
  • Press contact: Kirstyn Ooten,, (304) 691-0014