Following the History Channel’s epic three night showing of Hatfields & McCoys, the local Hatfield and McCoy feuding grounds have been receiving a lot of national attention.
In light of that, the historic Hatfield Cemetery at Sarah Ann and the right-of-way to it received a much needed brush and weed clearing by Logan County workers last week.
“It’s cleaned up pretty good,” said U.S. Senator Art Kirkendoll on Thursday. “There has already been something like 80 people up there from out of town.”
The Hatfield Cemetery, although listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, is on privately owned property. Access to the cemetery is through a right-of-way which private property owners on both sides.
“We don’t want to encroach on somebody’s private property unless it is a health hazard,” said Kirkendoll. “We just want the owners of the private property to know that we don’t want their property. We need to just sit down and say this is good for this area and for their family as being recognized as one of the most fascinating and historical things that happened. We want to keep it clean.”
Kirkendoll said that some of the more industrious family members may even be able to capitalize on the current craze.
“Some of the family members may even be able to find a way to get some economic activity out of being there and being a part of that family,” said Kirkendoll. “They could put a shop or something up. It is more recognizable now than when I was growing up.”
Kirkendoll said, with the county’s help, the cemetery could become a landmark.
“We don’t want to impede on anybody, but we would like to have a good relationship with the owners of that property. We will take county workers and go up there and keep it clean,” said Kirkendoll. “The county is really turning into a tourist area. You have people coming in to ride the Hatfield and McCoy trails and we are working with Mingo County and the Department of Highways in putting in a race track on the Logan-Mingo county line. When you have these events, you could have as high as 5,000 people coming in here. That’s revenue for the hotels and motels, food suppliers and vendors.”
Kirkendoll said the county has a great opportunity in drawing in tourist.
“We have a great opportunity if we out work everybody,” said Kirkendoll. “We got some great people to work with and we get things done. We can have a special place too.”