Hatfields and McCoys mingle peacefully in the mountainous region where their families waged one of America's most famous feuds. Now a museum near the Kentucky-West Virginia border is showcasing artifacts bringing the struggle back to life. The AP reports the Hatfield McCoy Country Museum opened Friday in Williamson, West Virginia. Items on display include bullets fired by the warring families, a gun found at a battle site, and fragments of Randolph McCoy's cabin, destroyed by the Hatfield clan in an infamous 1888 New Year's attack. The museum houses the largest collection of Hatfield and McCoy relics anywhere, says the museum's curator, Bill Richardson.
The museum, in a former schoolhouse, is a short drive from many of the tragic events from the long feud, including the site of the McCoy cabin on the Kentucky side that was burned and two McCoys were gunned down in the New Year's day ambush. Hatfield family members and supporters were thrown in jail after the attack, and the hostilities soon ended. Many believe the backwoods blood feud was rooted in the Civil War, but the bitterness was perpetuated by disputes over timber rights and even a pig. Courtney Quick McCoy says she'll probably have goosebumps when she looks at relics from her family's feud with the Hatfields. "You know that you are as close to your family as you ever could be," she says. (Read more West Virginia stories.)