Hatfield McCoy Country Museum.

Hatfield McCoy Country Museum (Closed)

Field review by the editors.

Williamson, West Virginia

"It's a lot more complicated than people think," said Bill Richardson, curator of the Hatfield McCoy Country Museum, about the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. Richardson, also an extension professor at West Virginia University, has been researching and promoting the warring families since the 1990s, and opened the museum on May 26, 2017.

Hatfield McCoy Country Museum.

According to Bill, the museum has "the largest collection in the world of actual items and artifacts that relate to the feud," including a gun found at one of the battle sites, bullets fired at another, and a large piece of Randolph McCoy's cabin, burned by the Hatfields, who wanted to burn Randolph as well (They failed).

So why did the families try to kill each other? Various theories trace the fight to land, timber, or the Civil War, but Bill believes it was rooted in the ownership of a pig: the Hatfields had it, the McCoys claimed it was theirs, a local judge (a Hatfield) ruled in the Hatfields' favor, and the war was on.

The Hatfield McCoy Country Museum also has what Bill says is one of the nation's largest collections of coal mining artifacts, and covers other Appalachian history as well, but wisely stamps itself with the Hatfield-McCoy brand. "You go a hundred miles from here and nobody's heard of Williamson," said Bill. "But everybody's heard of the Hatfields and McCoys."

Also see: Hatfield-McCoy Feudin' Trail

Hatfield McCoy Country Museum

From US Hwy 52/W. 4th Ave. turn north at the Fire Station and First National Bank onto Logan St. Drive up the hill, bending to the left. The museum is near the top of the hill, in the old Williamson High School.
2018: Closed permanently

More Quirky Attractions in West Virginia

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in West Virginia.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

West Virginia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Hero the Elephant and the Heintz Airship, Elkton, South Dakota (Feb 6-12, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings