A Brief History of the Hatfield Mccoy Feud

If you have ever gone on one of the popular ATV tours in West Virginia, then you are probably familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy trails. Aside from being an off-highway vehicle trail that is well-known to both tourists and locals, this trail system carries with it a famous story in relation to its name.

Known as a local story that turned into one of the most talked about national legends, the Hatfield-McCoy feud, also known as the Hatfield-McCoy war, is a series of vicious altercations that resulted in vengeful retaliation and several deaths.

It all dates way back to the 1800s, where two families that lived on opposite sides of the Big Sandy River existed. On the West Virginia side was the Hatfield clan, led by the successful timber merchant William “Devil Anse” Anderson Hatfield. Meanwhile, the Kentucky side of the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River was occupied by the McCoys. Their leader or patriarch, known as Randolph McCoy, was not as rich as the Hatfield head, but he did own some land and livestock.

While some people say that the feud started with the death of Asa Harmon McCoy at the end of the civil war, others believe that this was an isolated incident. Because while a Hatfield who was associated with the Logan Wildcats was blamed for this, the series of violent fights erupted due to a dispute over a hog. You might think that this is trivial, but a pig was a valuable commodity in their region, during those times. In this dispute, Randolph McCoy accused a Hatfield (Floyd) of stealing his pig. This led to a court trial where Floyd Hatfield was eventually acquitted on account of Bill Staton’s (a McCoy relative) testimonial. Years later, Bill Staton was killed in an altercation with two members of the McCoy family, both of which were acquitted on grounds of self-defense.  

After these, a series of violent clashes followed suit. One involved a whirlwind romance between a McCoy (Roseanna) and a Hatfield (Johnse). The relationship ended on a sour note, causing further anger on the McCoy side as Johnse Hatfield left Roseanna for yet another McCoy.

Finally, accounts from local historians regard the local elections dispute as one of the turning points of this great family feud.  Some family members of the McCoys and Hatfields got into a standoff which ended in the latter clan having a bounty over their heads.  This then led to the brutal New York Massacre as Hatfields killed Randolph McCoy’s wife and children in retaliation for the bounty set over their heads. Hatfields involved were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, with one of them being publicly executed.

A Visit to Cooperstown NY

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and MuseumNatural Beauty and our National Pastime!

Baseball fans you have heard the name because Cooperstown NY is home to the The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, but there is so much more to this area for visitors to enjoy. Museums, breweries, farmers markets, and historical locations are all attractions just a few hours drive from NYC. These fun destinations are surrounded by nature that will inspire you to get out and get moving!

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Learn more about the game, the history, and the players all in one place with exciting exhibits, and displays that will capture baseball fans and newbies alike. Then let the action really come to life with the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum. Stand next you favorite players and see what they look like outside of their baseball cards. Maybe even take in a game at the birthplace of America’s pastime, Abner Doubleday Field.

The Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers’ Museum

Fenimore Art Museum Court yard

If you are looking for more museum options Cooperstown is loaded with interesting stops to keep your visit filled with learning and culture. The Fenimore Art Museum is a collection of American fine and folk art, Native American art, and photography as well as visiting exhibitions. Considered one of the nation’s premier art institutions this is a must see for everyone from the views on the walls to the lovely grounds of the museum.

The Farmers' Museum

The Farmers’ Museum, New York State circa 1845. What does that look like for families in their day to day life? You can find out and even try your hand at some of these activities while visiting this living history museum. See demonstrations, learn about trade, enjoy the farmstead, the historic village, and the carousel!

Cooperstown Beverage Trail

Brewery Ommegang

Beer enthusiasts, wine sippers, and cider lovers will not want to miss these stops on your trip. Cooperstown Beverage Trail is New York State’s first official cuisine trail made up of eight stops, Bear Pond Winery, Cooperstown Brewing Company, Brewery Ommegang, the Fly Creek Cider Mill, Butternuts Beer & Ale, Rustic Ridge Winery, Cooperstown Distillery and Pail Shop Vineyards. Take tours, enjoy tastings, and take some goodies home from their shops. You can find out all the details and a map of locations here to get going on your tour.

Get Out in Nature!

Otsego Lake and Cooperstown NY

Hike, bike, or get out on the lake! There is camping, fishing, winter recreation, and so much more to show off the gorgeous countryside. Enjoy the delicious food that grows locally by visiting the farmer’s market or visiting the wide variety of eateries in Cooperstown.

For the indoor or outdoor portion of your vacation planning, Cooperstown has everything to appeal to all interests. Be sure to visit their website Thisiscooperstown.com to get tips for your time in the area. See more on social media and get inspiration for a trip to Cooperstown. FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube