The Macksey Journal


The region of West Virginia known as the Southern Coalfields experienced a huge population boom in the late 19th century into the mid 20th century due to the discovery and exploitation of coal seams in the area. Modern discourse on the region often highlights the areas predominantly white population, however, this region of the state was built in large part by waves of immigrants who often faced horrific conditions, which resulted in the death or injury of thousands. This paper utilizes a variety of historical and musical sources to present aspects of a multicultural world in the Southern Coalfields which is a contrast to many modern and historical narratives of Appalachia.