Tourism officials raising money to build McCoy statue in Pike Co.

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Historians said it is one of the most famous Post-Civil War feuds in the country thanks in part to a recent mini-series on the History Channel.

Pike County tourism officials said they have another way to bring people in to learn more about the Hatfields and McCoys.

Pikeville city and county tourism officials are raising money to build a memorial for Randolph McCoy, the patriarch of the McCoy family.

“There has been a statue in West Virginia for the Hatfield leader, “Devil” Anse Hatfield. We have never really had anything like that in Kentucky before,” said Vice Chairman Reed Potter of Pike County Tourism, Convention, and Visitors Bureau.

They said it is part of their history, even though it's a violent one. Potter said the last death as a result of the Civil War did not occur until 1901.

“The McCoys were born and raised here in Pike County and spent a lot of their time here in Pikeville we only think it is fitting to have a have a place to read and learn about the statue and read about the story there,” said Potter.

Those who live around the area said they believe the feuds have brought a lot of attention to the area and the statue could only help.

“I have had people ask me directions to Pikeville to see some of the history of the Hatfields and McCoys,” said Steven Sluss, who favored the building of a statue for Randolph McCoy.
“I am pretty sure people in Pike County and surrounding counties would surely pitch in and have something done.”

Officials said the feud has brought people in from around the world.

“I have heard about all 50 states and last I heard 7 countries since the mini series ran in May,” said Potter.

Tourism officials said that much of the money generated for the statue would come from the tours going on right now. Potter said Randolph McCoy's grave is part of the tour, but many opt not to get out for it, not because they do not want to, but because there are around five dozen steps one has to climb to get to the grave site itself. They said building the statue would allow more people to learn about the history of the county.

“We think with the statue more handicapped accessible, and accessible for elderly people,” said Potter.
“With the site it would give more people the opportunity to see and read and learn about the feud.”

Officials said they would like to see it completed within one year.

Potter said the memorial will cost between $50,000 and $100,000 to build. Some said they think it is worth the investment, while others told us off-camera they are skeptical.

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