None of us had experience starting a museum, but in our second meeting, we listed all the resources available to us and all the people we know. When we stood back and looked at our list, it included museum directors, lawyers, community leaders, union leaders, historians, archaeologists, artists, journalists, and government officials. As we started to talk to other people about our idea, time and again people offered their help, their donations, and their ideas. With so much support, the Board of Directors, which includes Wilma Steele, Catherine Moore, Hawkeye Dixon, Katey Lauer, Kenny King, Chuck Keeney, Greg Galford, Gordon Simmons, and me, Lou Martin, decided to take the next step: finding a space.
We signed a lease for 336 Mate Street, a modest storefront located within Matewan’s Historic Downtown. One corner of the larger structure is still scarred by bullets from the 1920 Battle of Matewan, fought between the miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detectives.
We have spent nearly two years putting all the pieces in place, and we are having a Grand Opening on May 16, 2015. Even if you can’t make it to our grand opening, there is one very important way you can support these efforts. The museum is currently undertaking a crowd funding campaign to raise the money to pay local people to keep the museum open and take care of artifacts. Any amount helps. Go to igg.me/at/wvminewars to donate today.comments