HARDY, Ky. - Nestled at Hardy, Kentucky in a spectacular mountain valley, the Randal McCoy well still stands at Scott Valley. The well is 25 to 30 feet deep and if it could talk it would say, “I’m just now enjoying the scenery, heritage and especially the friendly people who visit as they travel (Ky. State Route 319) Hardy Kentucky.”
The well is mentioned in the Truda Williams McCoy’s book, The McCoy’s. In the book, she relates the legend of the “New Year’s Eve party of 1888.” Nine heavily armed Hatfield’s attacked the McCoy cabin and set it on fire late in the night.
According to the book, the McCoy family had exhausted their supply of water and milk in the house in efforts to extinguish the flames. Calvin McCoy called to his sister Alifair to draw water from the well so he could put out the fire. Calvin reasoned that no one would shoot a woman: according to Mrs. McCoy’s account of the incident. When Alifair went toward the well with the bucket, someone was hidden in the shadows behind the well box. She identified the man as Cap Hatfield, son of Devil Anse. “Tossing her head defiantly, she started toward the well, “the McCoy book says of Alifair’s action. A shot rang out and she crumbled to the ground‑dead. Her mother Sarah tried to get to her. “For the love of the Lord, ” she screamed,” let me go to my girl.” A Hatfield pistol‑whipped her until she lost consciousness. For the first time stories of the feud became front page in newspapers across the country.
For the folks who are interested in the legend of the Hatfield and McCoy’s, the well at Scott Valley makes an excellent place to relive that New Year’s Eve tragedy.
Bob and Rita Scott own the property where the well is located. It is not that they dislike change, they just know when it’s best to leave some things as they are.
Come as a stranger, leave as a friend.
(Submitted by Bob and Rita Scott)