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Hatfield-McCoy Trail boosts local economies

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Hatfield-McCoy Trail boosts local economies

When I was driving through some of the towns, I could see some real change happen as a result of this new tourism-based economy. Many cities, such as Welch and Gilbert, were in steep decline becuase of a variety of factors, including isolation and the coal-mining saga. Industrial parks on top of mountaintop-removal-sites failed and literally sit empty; a planned town is nothing more than a grassy field; and so forth.

But the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, which are already quite extensive at 500-miles, will be extended another 50-70 miles.

When I was last in the area in 2006, gas stations were literally running dry of gasoline. It was a weekend and most of the riders were out and about. In Gilbert, I noticed a new one-story brick structure, something that you might see in Lexington or Louisville, but in Gilbert? And it hosted a new coffee shop. I thought I'd never see that coming. But then again, you have Twisted Gun Golf Course nearby, which the politicans sing and praise about...

Other towns aren't fairing so well, like Keystone and some of the more remote cities...

Tourism is the key here, and they need to play on that more. But with mountaintop-removal speeding up...

Article information: "Hatfield-McCoy Trail boosts local economies, Herald-Dispatch [Huntington], Tuesday, February, 13, 2007"

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How very nice that is working for them. This part of West Virginia is near my roots. I am from Buchanan County Virginia originally, which borders this part of West Virginia. I've always heard about the Hatfields and McCoys. It is part of Appalachian culture. I always associated it more with Eastern Kentucky though. I know the next county to the West of Buchanan is Pike County Kentucky, and I think they had a sheriff at one time with a last name of Hatfield. At one time, the Superintendent of Buchanan County Schools was a man named Hatfield. I wonder if there is any relation to those famous Hatfields of the past? Not all people with the same last name are related, but they sure could be.

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Incidentely, Pikeville, the county seat of Pike County, has a festival called Hillbilly Days and at this festival they have a Hatfield/McCoy fued re-enactment.

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It's a nice festival. I've been there several times myself and there is a very large crowd that only gets bigger with each passing year.

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