Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Forgotten Battles of the Mine Wars: The Fairmont Field

When: March 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm
Where:  Archives and History Library, Culture Center

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Dr. Michael Workman will present "The Forgotten Battles of the Mine Wars: The Fairmont Field" at the monthly Tuesday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library at 6:00 p.m. on March 1, 2011. Coal was nearly as important to the economy of the Monongahela Valley in north-central West Virginia as it was to the southern part of the state. However, unlike southern West Virginia, the Fairmont coal field was developed by indigenous capitalists, especially the Watson family of Fairmont. The Watsons were the coal barons of the north, controlling coal production through the Fairmont Coal Company and its successor, the Consolidation Coal Company, which became the largest bituminous coal producer in the world during the late 1920s. Workman will provide an illustrated presentation on the clash of Fairmont Field coal companies against the United Mine Workers of America during the 1920s. While there were no large-scale, dramatic confrontations like the Battle of Blair Mountain to the south, this conflict lasted longer (1924-1933) and had greater impact on national developments than did events in southern West Virginia.

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