Appalachia: Hatfields and McCoys

The Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, once navigable, now has a single abstract function: Kentucky lies on one side, West Virginia on the other. Splayed out from both banks are noiseless hollows and stubbly, once-farmed bottoms, all in the shadow of Appalachian mountains, which rise dark and gorgeous in every direction. But to the businessmen who brought the railroad through around 1900, wooded slopes and crags were incidental: the capitalists came to burrow and cart away endless tons of coal, which they're still doing today. The Tug Fork Valley, boosters chime,...

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