WILLIAMSON — Although the general consensus of the residents in Mingo County is that the Hatfield and McCoy: White Lightening reality show that has recently been featured on the History Channel was glamorized and contained information that was not true and that nothing would actually materialize into reality from the series, Mingo County WVU Extension Professor Bill Richardson has said that belief is far from being the truth.
The Hatfield and McCoy Distillery that it located on 3rd Avenue in Williamson was a dream that has materialized throughout the 8 hours of the reality show, as viewers faithfully tuned in to see the progress being made on a building that was built in 127 and was originally a car dealership. As time progressed and much work was completed, the location went from a state of disarray to an impressive landmark that if all goes as planned, will open for business before the end of 2013 as a moonshine manufacturing and distribution business.
A definite decision has yet to be announced as to whether the History Channel plans to renew the series, but that answer is expected to be announced in the near future. Regardless of whether or not the reality show continues, efforts to meet all legal requirements to allow the distillery to become fully operational are a top priority for members of the Hatfield and McCoy families, business leaders in the local community and investors.
“The intentions of all involved in this project have always been to have a fully operational distillery her in Mingo County,” stated Richardson. “It’s not a smile task, nor does it happen overnight, but I can promise the public that we are well on our way to seeing the doors of the Hatfield and McCoy Distillery open for business.”
Richardson also spoke with the Williamson Daily News on the way the show was perceived by viewers across the U.S., and said that he had not heard any derogatory comments, that everyone he had spoke with or had a correspondence from was very complimentary, especially when it came to the beautiful scenery on the Tug Valley area that was featured in all the episodes.
“Faithful watchers of the show relayed that they fell in the love with the beautiful mountain scenery and farmlands that were featured in a wonderful light on the show,” Richardson said. “I’ve narrated several Hatfield and McCoy Bus Tours recently and those taking part had nothing negative to say, they all loved our area.”
The hold up on opening the distillery is legal issues and paperwork that takes a considerable amount to complete, and Richardson is hopeful that local residents will keep that thought in consideration while they await the official grand opening and watch the special moonshine recipe of the Hatfield and McCoy clans begin to fill the bottles that bear the label for the “White Lightening” that will soon be offered for sale across the nation and beyond.
‘The distillery will be another tourism boost to Williamson after it opens for business,” remarked Richardson. “I feel that the business will attract folks from near and far who once they taste this special blend, they will order the product once they return home.’
“We have a lot to be proud of, and I’m determined to continue with projects such as these to keep the national spotlight centered on Williamson.”
Information on whether the reality show will be renewed by the History Channel will be released as soon as it becomes available.