1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036
Groups Alerted to Destruction on West Virginias HistoricBlair Mountain Battlefield
Mystery Behind Who is Disturbing 1921 Site of Nations Largest Armed LaborConflict
CHARLESTON, W.V. (July 15, 2010)
rust for Historic Preservation, Ohio Valley EnvironmentalCoalition (OVEC) and the Sierra Club have learned from sources that archeological sites on West Virginias historicBlair Mountain are being destroyed. Nationally significant to the U.S. labor movement, the legendary 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain was a clash of 10,000 people, with coal miners rising up against coal barons in defense of their right to unionize and exercise their civil liberties. Lasting 10 days, it is the largest armed insurrection since the Civil Warand the biggest labor struggle in American history. In 2006, it was also listed on the National
rusts list of Americas11 Most Endangered Historic Places.Archeologists provided proof that localized, but highly detrimental disturbances have occurred at five locations inthe southern part of Blair Mountain the Blair Gap area.
opsoil has been removed and trees have been uprooted,most likely from bulldozing within the past three to six months. Since archeological evidence of the battle lies in thetop five to six centimeters of topsoil, even the slightest disturbance will destroy both known and potentiallysignificant sites on the battlefield. One of the sites, in fact, is already documented and on file at the West VirginiaState Historic Preservation Office.As bulldozers from the unknown source destroy these archeological sites, the National
rust, Ohio ValleyEnvironmental Coalition and Sierra Club have filed a petition with the National Park Service to re-list Blair Mountainon the National Register of Historic Places.
he groups contend that the decision to remove the site from theNational Register was a violation of National Park Service regulations.Blair Mountain a symbol of Americas labor movement should be re-listed on the National Register, protectedand not destroyed, said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National
rust for Historic Preservation. With this
Jenni Brewer, 202.588.6380, email@example.comOliver Bernstein, Sierra Club, 512.477.2152, firstname.lastname@example.org