Since curiosity has exploded concerning the Hatfields and McCoys after an Emmy nominated miniseries was shown on the History Channel, starring Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield, Dotson said she thought taking people on a trip to Pikeville, Ky., during Hillbilly Days — a Shriner event held the third weekend of April — would be perfect since it is one of the most attended festivals in the United States.
“It would be lots of fun for a great cause,” said Dotson, who lived in the area where all the history was made until three years ago. “When my article appeared in Cleveland Life concerning my relationship to both the Hatfield and McCoy clans, response was great! People stopped to talk about it and asked questions. I realized there was an interest to knowing more about the actual feud. So I decided that the excursion should be now — while interest is strong and the story fresh in their minds.”
Dotson said she and her boyfriend, Jeff, started “guesstimating cost and deciding a path.”
“Accommodations in the area are normally for rough trail riders who don't mind the dirt at all,” Dotson said. “As a matter of fact, they love it and rooms consists mainly of a two room log structure to simply have a place to sleep. No fancy hotels or motels. We will be staying in Logan, W.Va., on Friday night at a new, more modern hotel and make our way around.
“Saturday, we will tour Devil Anse Hatfield’s grave and monument, travel on to Matewan, W.Va., which is packed with Historical interest, cross into Kentucky to visit the actual place the McCoy boys were killed, the election ground where Ellison Hatfield was attacked and from there to Randolph McCoy’s homesite during the feud at Hardy, Ky., tour all of the sites in that area and to Pikeville, on Saturday night for our second stay over. Sunday morning we will go to the location of Randolph McCoy’s last home place, visit the Dils Cemetery where Randolph is buried along with more of his family and then to Breaks Interstate Park on the Kentucky/Virginia border where we will watch the mountains show off in their brilliant colors of fall. It will be an exciting trip.”
Dotson said, “Being born a McCoy and raised amongst the Hatfields (my step family), I traveled the roads daily and know each holler and road well. This is my hometown, where I grew up and where I would enjoy showing others the beauty. You will know why they fought for their land when you visit. There is nothing like being welcomed and embraced by the protective mountains of the Coalfields Region. Sunday evening we will return to Cleveland.”
The transportation, tour and two-night stay are all included. For further information, contact Leslie Dotson at 304-601-1324.