Blair Mountain

Map showing road over Blair Mountain

Blair Mountain, the site of the largest labor uprising in U.S. history, is a peak in southern West Virginia on the ridge between the valleys of the Little Coal and Guyandotte river valleys. Near its summit, the location of the Battle of Blair Mountain was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.

The mountain is named for its location east of the town of Blair. Its summit peaks at about 1,890 feet above sea level.

Fought for five days in August 1921, the Battle of Blair Mountain saw some 10,000 armed coal miners confront more than 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers backed by mine operators attempting the deter unionization in the southwestern West Virginia coalfields.

has been returned to the National Register of Historic Places, according to officials with the Department of Interior who called its removal from the register nearly a decade ago “erroneous.”

Fought for five days in August 1921, the Battle of Blair Mountain saw some 10,000 armed coal miners confront more than 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers backed by mine operators attempting the deter unionization in the southwestern West Virginia coalfields.

Historians have jokingly referred to the “second” battle of Blair Mountain since 2009 when the battlefield was added and then removed from the register.

In 2016, a federal judge declared the removal, or “delisting” was wrong as federal officials had not verify the list of landowners they claimed took issue with the designation.

In her decision, released Friday, Joy Beasley, the Keeper of the National Register, called the removal “erroneous” and said the majority of landowners that officials had cited hadn’t objected to its inclusion on the register at all.

Some environmental and historic-preservation groups hope its designation on the National Register protects the site from surface mining.

A spokesman for the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection said the agency is reviewing the decision, according to a report from W.Va. Public Broadcasting.

In a statement provided to the broadcasting authority, Regina Hendrix, of the state chapter of the Sierra Club, called the victory “the culmination of a 12-year saga that took many legal twists and turns along the way in our efforts to save this part of West Virginia’s history.”

The mountain and battle have loomed increasingly large in popular culture. The online video game Fallout 76 includes a “Mount Blair,” believed to be a reference to Blair Mountain.


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