BY MACKENZIE NEW WALKER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WV MINE WARS MUSEUM, AND KAYCIE STUSHEK, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS SPECIALIST, THE HUB
We have had the privilege of working with Matewan residents and local partners and have continuously seen how their diligence, thoughtfulness, spirit and drive has never wavered and has been a primary factor in their many achievements that have continued to build over the years.
A commitment to Matewan’s past and honoring a future that ties its rich history with adventure has always been at the center of their community conversations. In the past few years alone, community members have been building momentum and bringing a great energy to their town in numerous ways.
We’re including just a few highlights of achievements from recent years here. Do you know more? Share them in the comments!
- Multiple new businesses have opened centered around history, culture, and outdoor recreation;
- The Historic Lock Up and City Hall had a huge facelift, with external and internal renovations done by local volunteers;
- The WV Mine Wars Museum moved to a larger location, thanks to a partnership with the local UMWA chapter, who purchased and is working to remodel the recently closed BB&T building, now the International Cecil E. Roberts Building, to be a space to serve the community in multiple ways;
- A local Convention and Visitors Bureau was formed, who is a hub of information for local activities, and who recently collaborated with other partners to put up stunning billboards around the area;
- A beautiful mural painted by local community members greets visitors at the end of Mate Street; and a new solar-powered speaker-box talks you through some of the area’s rich historical events;
- The Tug Fork River is becoming even more of a recreational asset to the community through regional collaborations;
The three historic Nenni Buildings located in the heart of downtown were purchased by area partner Coalfield Development, and have received $1.7 million dollars in funding for redevelopment efforts that align with the vision of this determined community!
The team at Coalfield Development shared more about this story on their website.
There are so many more initiatives and positive things happening in Matewan, look them up to get more details, as this community should definitely be on your must-visit list.