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The Red Robin Inn was a landmark tavern on old U.S. 119 at Borderland, a few miles north of Williamson. The inn was for many years owned and operated by Charlie Blevins, a retired coal miner and memorable singer and banjo picker. Later obliterated by the construction of the Corridor G highway, the inn was a gathering place for local story swappers, and the scene of many great old-time music jam sessions. The Red Robin Inn doubled as a regional museum with implements related to coal mining and farming hanging on the wall above the bar and dozens of photographs of local characters, most notably the picture of a barefoot, 12-toed moonshiner taken at his trial in a local courtroom.

Blevins’s tales recalled the earliest settlement of Mingo County. He said his pioneer ancestors walked to the area leading an old milk cow. When they got hungry or thirsty they just stopped and milked. He lamented that the construction of Corridor G would ‘‘wipe out our heritage.’’ After the demise of the Red Robin Inn in March 1993, Blevins relocated across the Tug Fork in Pike County, Kentucky, and opened a museum called the Red Robin Plateau.

This Article was written by Michael Kline

Last Revised on October 22, 2010


Sources

Kline, Michael. The Coon Dog Truth: Charlie Blevins at the Red Robin Inn. Goldenseal, (Winter 1982).

Cite This Article

Kline, Michael "Red Robin Inn." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 22 October 2010. Web. 20 September 2017.

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