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Old 11-23-2008, 07:43 PM   #16
Boojum
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Damn Good Report, Don! I look forward to Memorial Day weekend, so we can hit another History Ride!!!


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Old 11-23-2008, 08:31 PM   #17
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The Battle Of Blair Mountain

Minister John Wilburn, said to his fellow miners,

"It's time to lay down the bible and pick up the rifle !"

A little more than a year after the murder of Sid Hatfield, miners reached the pinnacle of rage. The miners organized a march on Mingo county, the last hold of tyranical companies. Don Chaffin assembled a force to fight off the miners, which included private airplanes hired to drop home built bombs. The rough and tough Bill Blizzard and the miners meet in Marmet, near Charleston, then head towards Logan. With red bandannas around their necks as uniforms, guns in hand, they are ready to fight for their futures !

Some miners walked, rode horses, mules, and a hi-jacked trains to reach Blair. A short march through the gap at Blair Mountain, and they would be in Logan, or so they thought !



&ampnbsp
&ampnbsp




The last leg of the march to Blair, traversed down Spruce Creek. Remnants of the old railway can be seen at times, but is almost gone.

While travelling down Spruce Creek, bullets started flying !

Spruce Creek today






The old RR bed




Blair is not much more than a few buildings now, but it was a booming town in it's day !




The only remnants of the railway in Blair. A depot sat beside the tracks here, and machine guns fired on them from the surrounding ridge !




From this marker, you can see the rock outcroppings where two large caliber machine guns were placed to fire on the miners. A phone discussion I had earlier with local historian Kenny King, provided some of the detailed information.




Machine gune placements






Kenny King, local historian




Next we will travel down the ridge, into the trenches, and to a meeting hall supposedly targeted for bombs by US warplanes !
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dlrides screwed with this post 11-23-2008 at 08:54 PM
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:50 PM   #18
Kodanja
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An excellent report! Thanks for taking the time to prepare it.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:50 PM   #19
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Good read as always, Don. Wish my school teachers had made history as interesting...
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:51 PM   #20
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Through The Gap !

A natural gap exist at Blair Mountain, which was the miner's goal, then to Logan. The ridgeline was posted heavily by Chaffin's men and company paid guns. Due to the geographical disadvantage, and heavy firepower, the miners never broke through. After several days of attempts, federal troops in route, and warplanes dropping bombs, the miners retreated.

This was the largest labor battle ever waged on american soil, and the second largest uprising in american history, second only to the Civil War. This event eventually created the change the miners were due.


One of the union meeting halls that one of the bombs dropped near. I could not find the bomb impression, but Mr. King said it was difficult to find.




This old trail travels down the ridge, and is passable with the right bike. Chaffin's men were posted along this very trail !



Highest point on the ridge. A trench used to fire on the miners is a few yards away.




This is the best photo I could get of a trench. Several are down the ridge, but due to brush and debris, they can't be distinguished via photo.




The old trail continues down the ridge and ends at an area currently being mined. Like a fool, I followed until it ended, then had to ride back out ! I didn't stop to take a photo of returning up the hill, I was more concerned about making it out !






Appalachian State University has been performing archeological studies in the area, and artifacts are being collected. I hope the relatives of the miners are succesful in having this area granted a National Historical Site status.

Long live the "Original Rednecks", ......................... and now you know !



Please read the details of the complete story :

http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/mountaintop/blair.pdf


Previous reports in the series, Appalachian History On 2 Wheels

#1
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=388282

#2
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=401209

#3
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=409503


Parting shots of the ride home through KY, VA, and TN.












NEVER miss a historic marker !




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dlrides screwed with this post 12-09-2008 at 07:15 AM
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:31 PM   #21
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well done

thanks for the history lesson
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:08 PM   #22
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Excellent. Thank you.

Can I suggest you put links to your other reports every time you post a new one. Then new inmates can go back and read them.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:11 PM   #23
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Thumb Great idea



I agree with britman.

Great suggestion.....





Quote:
Originally Posted by britman
Excellent. Thank you.

Can I suggest you put links to your other reports every time you post a new one. Then new inmates can go back and read them.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:15 PM   #24
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Better yet, stick them in your sig line. Love that last pic of the road going under the rock, beautiful.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flux_capacitor
Better yet, stick them in your sig line. Love that last pic of the road going under the rock, beautiful.
Great shot. Where is that?
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:45 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trophy1298
Great shot. Where is that?
That is actally a railroad tunnel !

The Empire Timber and Mining Company built the Beaver Dam Railroad in 1901 to connect to the Virginia-Carolina line. After the tunnel was blasted, the engine smoke stack would not fit, and the top was hand chiseled.

Located a few miles south of Damascus VA on route 133.


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Old 11-24-2008, 06:14 PM   #27
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Wow! Fantastic report, Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:17 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boojum
Damn Good Report, Don! I look forward to Memorial Day weekend, so we can hit another History Ride!!!


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What he said! I've recovered from Memorial Day Weekend 2007 sufficiently to keep up with you once again, Don. .....I think.

Fantastic job! If you and DeBandi and David H never write a book about all this stuff, you should seriously pursue an adjunct professorship at an appropriate college or university with a strong history department. Keep all your notes.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:51 PM   #29
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[quote=dlrides].

Long live the rednecks, ......................... and now you know ![quote]

Great trip report. I especially enjoyed the history lesson.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:05 PM   #30
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Thumb Wow

Thanks, Great report
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