The Historic Matewan House
The Historic Matewan House was built in 1908 along Mate Street in Matewan, a city in Mingo County, West Virginia. The home was built by the Chambers family, who were prominent in the community as a result of the pharmacy and hardware store they owned and operated. The house was caught in the crossfires of the battle which occurred between miners, city officials, and detectives during the Matewan Massacre, for which the building and those around it was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Matewan Historic District. The residence is now operated by Ellen and Dave Hatfield as the Historic Matewan House Bed and Breakfast. The business features rooms which are each specific to a certain aspect of the town's culture in addition to offering daily tours centered on the Hatfield & McCoy feud.
The front porch of the business
The standard layout of the cabin rooms of the business
The business's dining room
The business's sitting room
Backstory and Context
The Historic Matewan House was constructed along Mate Street in Matewan, part of Mingo County, West Virginia, in 1908 by E.B. Chambers, leading the residence to be referred to as the E.B. Chambers residence up until the building was refurbished. Chambers resided in the home along with his family, including his father, wife, and mother, and alternated his time between his new home and his job helping run his family's pharmacy and hardware located a few feet away along the same street. Chambers and his family remained in the residence until the fallout of the Matewan Massacre in 1920, which saw local miners and city officials confront members of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency who sought to evict the miners from their company-owned houses. The confrontation resulted in a deadly shootout, part of which occurred near the entrance of the Chambers' store. After the battle was over, E.B. Chambers was dead, and four of his family members were arrested for their roles in the massacre.
The house then passed through the possession of several Chambers decedents before being recognized along with the rest of the Matewan Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s. It was then bought by the town in the 1980s and went up for auction. In the early 2000s, the residence was purchased by Dave and Ellen Hatfield and underwent mild renovations, joining it with the former Chambers store with care taken to preserve as much of the original design as possible, with the end result being a fully-functioning bed and breakfast, renamed the Historic Matewan House Bed and Breakfast. The facility, in accordance to Matewan's Turn the Town Around endeavor which seeks to draw tourism to the area, works to preserve and promote the town's history. The owners, Ellen and Dave, offer a Hatfield & McCoy tour each day at 9am which take guests though the history of the feud's events, impact, and legacy in Matewan. The tour also features parts of the Hatfield & McCoy ATV trail as part of the business's accommodation of trail riders who make up the majority of tourists in the area.
The business's focus on history is also apparent in the design of each of the rooms available to rent within it, each of which is significant to Matewan's history. These themed rooms include the Almost Heaven and Mountain rooms, which features decor meant to emphasize the natural elements of the state, the Coal Room and Railroad rooms which reflects the impact of the mining industry in both Matewan and WV, the Hatfield & McCoy room, the Matewan room, and several more general cabin rooms as well as two suites. The business is open 24/7 and is always accepting new visitors.
About Us. Historic Matewan House. . Accessed July 19, 2019. http://historicmatewanhouse.com/.
E.B. Chambers Life and Death. AppalachianHistory. Accessed July 19, 2019. http://www.appalachianaristocracy.com/getperson.php?personID=I8210&tree=01.
Historical Designation Nomination Form - Matewan Historic District. National Park Service. 1997. Accessed July 12, 2019. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/34245a29-7781-4179-a1c2-d620a362223d
Places to Stay. historicmatewan. . Accessed July 18, 2019. http://www.historicmatewan.com/stay.