Written by Nell Ziehl
Earlier this month, preservation advocates were thrilled that the National Park Service listed Blair Mountain (Logan County, West Virginia) -- the site of a massive 1921 coal miners' insurrection and the largest armed conflict on U.S. soil since the Civil War -- in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register designation has taken decades, due to opposition by coal companies who wish to strip-mine the mountain and destroy the site. This ongoing struggle led the National Trust for Historic Preservation to include Blair Mountain on our 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2006.
The thrill wore off quickly, however. Less than a week after the National Park Service made its determination, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin’s administration requested that the site be de-listed.
We -- and our local partners -- remain committed to saving Blair Mountain Battlefield. We ask that concerned citizens help us take action by signing our online petition. With the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, we are also preparing a letter to be signed by scholars and historians, asking for Governor Manchin's help in preserving this important chapter of American history. If you are a scholar or historian who would like to be included in that effort, please email us at sfo [at] nthp [dot] org. (Replace the words in brackets with the customary symbols.)
Blair Mountain in the News:
- Huffington Post: Where's the National Outrage on Blair Mountain? Gov. Joe Manchin and Bilbo Legacy (April 8, 2009)
- The Charleston Gazette: State moves to delist Blair Mountain from historic register (April 6, 2009)
- The Charleston Gazette: Blair Mountain added to National Historic Register
(March 30, 2009)
Nell Ziehl is a program officer for the Southern Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Mark your calendars: Our 2009 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places will be announced on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Historic places around the country -- like Blair Mountain -- need your help.