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Pikeville’s Famous Feud

By Linda Tancs

Pikeville, Kentucky lies in the heart of Appalachia, appropriately nicknamed “the city that moves mountains,” a reference to the cut-through that relocated the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River.  It’s probably better known, though, as the site of that infamous feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.  Rival families in the Tug Valley, their animus was fueled by opposing philosophies during the Civil War.  For starters, a member of the McCoy clan was killed by some Hatfield boys for being a Union sympathizer.  The ensuing years saw additional bloodshed between the families arising from forbidden romance, political intrigue and property disputes.  A two-hour tour will take you to several locations where the feud ensued.  So what do the descendants of these famous families have to say on the matter?  Oh, they’ve mended fences, you might say.  They united for a special taping of the game show Family Feud in 1979.


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