Blair Mountain Battlefield Gets Placed on National Register

(NYT31) BLAIR, W. Va. -- May 14, 2005 -- W.VA-MOUNTAIN-2 -- A historical marker describes the Battle of Blair Mountain near Logan, West Virginia, as pictured, May 12, 2005. Today, a new battle for Blair Mountain is flaring. But this time, the warriors are not miners toting rifles, but historians armed with artifacts. And the fight is not about organizing the coalfields, but saving the battlefield. (Tony Kemp/The New York Times)

MATEWAN, WV (AP) – The National Register of Historic Places has placed a protected designation on the site of a West Virginia battle that broke out in the 1920s when coal miners tried to unionize.

The Blair Mountain Battlefield was removed from the registry in 2009 after a law firm representing a group of coal companies challenged the designation. Several historical and environmental groups fought the ruling, and in 2016 a federal court ruled that the site shouldn’t have been removed from the register. It was restored this week.

The battle pitted thousands of miners against forces backed by the mining companies over five days in 1921.

The Sierra Club says in a release announcing the victory that “countless people have devoted years of time and effort” to restore the site’s historic designation.

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