West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Summer 2021 Issue of GOLDENSEAL Magazine Now Available


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Summer 2021 issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine is now available. Since 1975, GOLDENSEAL has been West Virginia’s Magazine of Traditional Life. Attached is a list of retailers where GOLDENSEAL magazine is available.

Dedicated to the West Virginia Mine Wars, this issue focuses on the violent series of escalating conflicts between miners and coal companies in the early 1900s. This edition marks the 100th anniversary of the culminating event, when thousands of armed miners marched from Marmet in Kanawha County through Boone County and fought a deadly battle with forces under Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin at Blair Mountain.

In the summer issue, Aaron Parsons traces the turbulent life of Frank Keeney, an influential labor leader who helped spur on the march before falling from grace in his own union after the miners’ defeat; R. G. Yoho paints a notorious picture of C. E. Lively, who spied on the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) at Matewan and directed the murders of labor heroes Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers; Ginny Savage Ayers shines a light on A. D. Lavinder, an important but often overlooked union leader during this time; and Gordon Simmons deliberates Mary Harris “Mother” Jones’ baffling futile effort to halt the march, while Historian Merle T. Cole looks at the State Police’s limited role before and during the battle.

Other featured articles include “I Shot the Sheriff: Bill Petry and Don Chafin” by Wes Holden; “Huey Hager: Capturing Don Chafin’s Brother” by Julian Martin, a retired Lincoln County teacher and West Virginia’s first Peace Corps volunteer; “Proud to be a Redneck” by Kenzie New Walker, the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of union miners; and “What Happened to the Mine Wars? Erasing West Virginia History” by Sam Heywood.

Eric Douglas interviews Jean Battlo of Kimball, McDowell County, and Denise Giardina of Charleston, Kanawha County, who wrote two of the finest works of historical fiction based on the Mine Wars. Paul Gartner shares how music has played a key role in the labor movement over time in “Songs of Labor,” while Charles B. Keeney III, the great-grandson of Frank Keeney, recounts how he and others fought to preserve the 1921 battlefield from destruction in “Blair Mountain: West Virginia’s Sacred Landscape.”

This issue also highlights the work of the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum in Matewan, Mingo County, and Blair Mountain Centennial events, mostly scheduled around Labor Day; and Emily Hilliard, state folklorist, pays tribute to longtime United Food and Commercial Workers Local 347 President Sterling Ball of Parkersburg, Wood County, who shows how far the labor movement has come in a century.

GOLDENSEAL is published quarterly by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History. You can order copies from GOLDENSEAL’s online store or call 304-558-0220, ext. 134. Individual copies are $5.95/issue + $1.00 shipping, or you can order subscriptions for one year ($20), two years ($36), or three years ($50).


GOLDENSEAL Magazine can be purchased at the following retail outlets:

Brushy Ridge Farm, Augusta, Hampshire County

Four Seasons Books, Shepherdstown, Jefferson County

State Museum Gift Shop, Culture Center, Charleston, Kanawha County

Taylor Books, Charleston, Kanawha County

West Virginia Market Place at Capitol Market, Charleston, Kanawha County

Appalachian Glass, Weston, Lewis County

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, Moundsville, Marshall County

Railroad Depot, Bramwell, Mercer County

Book Exchange, Morgantown, Monongalia County

Ruby Memorial Hospital Gift Shop, Morgantown, Monongalia County

The Monroe Watchman Newspaper, Monroe County

Cacapon Resort State Park, Morgan County

Nicholas Chronicle Newspaper, Summersville, Nicholas County

West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling, Ohio County

Wheeling Artisan Center, Wheeling, Ohio County

Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, Raleigh County

Pipestem Resort State Park, Summers/Mercer County

Tygart Lake State Park, Taylor County

Blackwater Falls State Park, Tucker County

Galaxy Foods, Middlebourne, Tyler County

Witschey’s Market, New Martinsville, Wetzel County

Peoples News, Parkersburg, Wood County

Twin Falls State Park, Wyoming County



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