Artifacts found date back to Hatfield, McCoy feud

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

HARDY, Ky (WYMT) - It's America's most infamous feud, and as most people know the Hatfields and the McCoys fought in our backyard.

In fact, it was exactly 125 years ago on New Year's Day when the Hatfields came across the mountain into Pike County and ambushed the McCoys.

"It puts chill bumps on me still. It being New Year's Day today. Actually the fire was probably still burning," said Bob Scott who owns the property where the Randolph McCoy house used to be. Ironically, he is a Hatfield descendant.

For years the story has been told of when the Hatfield clan set Randolph McCoy's cabin on fire early New Year's day in 1888 and gunned down two members of the rival family.

A team from the upcoming TV Series "Diggers" on the National Geographic Channel made what one historian calls a "world class find" back in September.

"My highest hope was that we would find a piece of wood with a nail in it so we could date it," said Bill Richardson, an extension associate professor for West Virginia University.

They found that and much more, and now they are beginning to piece this age-old story together through modern-day science.

"This is the first actual hard evidence from the feud, and that's what makes it so exciting," said Richardson.

Bullets were found in this mountain, historians believe they were return fire from the McCoys.

They have also been able to use the artifacts to show approximately where Randolph McCoy's house sat.

Bob Scott is hoping these artifacts will help boost tourism in the area.

The "Diggers" episode about the Hatfield and McCoy feud will air January 29th on the National Geographic Channel.

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