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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


Nowhere were times harder during the depression than in a group of coal camps lining Scotts Run, a creek outside Morgantown. Few of the area’s ten thousand residents held a steady job.

Jerry Bruce Thomas: Scotts Run provides kind of a symbol for what went wrong in West Virginia. Early in the twentieth century great numbers of people were brought in, mountaineers who came down from their farms and people from many different countries to mine the coal at the various coal operations along Scotts Run. In time, the Scotts Run companies found difficulty in marketing their coal. They found they had too many miners to mine the coal that they could sell, so you had a situation where they had great numbers of people kind of captured or stuck in an area.

Narrator: One writer called Scotts Run the damnedest cesspool of human misery I have ever seen in America.

“December 8, went to the store to get some bread for a family of six children that had nothing to eat. The father has been out of work for two months. Only two of the children have shoes. The mother has been married five years and is twenty years old. Oh, the pity of it.” Mary Behner

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