Matewan was the site of the “Battle of Matewan”, a significant labor dispute caused by coal company executives who were trying to evict union workers from company housing. The gunfight at Matewan left 10 dead and several wounded. It led to the eventual end of coal companies’ control over the workers in West Virginia.
The town of Matewan is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It offers visitors a Matewan Depot replica, live re-enactments, and walking tour of the Historic District.