The new season of National Geographic’s “Diggers” premiered on Monday night on the NatGeo Channel. One of the new episodes coming up includes a return to the Tug Valley area.
Metal-detecting enthusiasts Tim “Ringy” Saylor and “King” George Wyant had visited the area two years ago to excavate at the historic McCoy cabin location at Hardy, Ky. on the Bob Scott property.
They were able to find some artifacts of where the Randall McCoy cabin had been burned down by the Hatfield clan on the infamous New Year’s Night raid back in 1888.
This property is where the McCoy water well is located. But during that expedition, the amateur archaeologists discovered remnants of the cabin that burned down during the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.
Diggers returned to the feud sites of the Hatfields and McCoys for another exciting archaeological dig.
The Hatfield and McCoy feud, which took place in Mingo County, West Virginia and across the Tug River in Pike County, Kentucky, is the world’s most famous feud. Having captured the fascination of the world since the first shot was fired more than 100 years ago, the feuding Hatfields and McCoys have been studied by researchers, historians and family descendants alike, all seeking the story behind the struggle. With the advent of the History Channel’s miniseries Hatfields and McCoys, featuring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, interest in the feud has ballooned to an all-time high.
“In my opinion, these findings are some of our country’s most incredible historical artifacts,” said Tony K. Tackett, executive director of Pike County Tourism CVB. “Very rarely does one come across items like these, drawn straight from American Legend.”
“During the first Diggers visit, I told “Ringy” Saylor and George “KG” Wyant that they would soon return to the Randall McCoy home site,” said Bob Scott, owner of the McCoy property, and Pike County Tourism CVB board member. “Well after two years they have returned.”
Over the past several years, thousands of people, including individuals from 26 foreign countries, have visited the Randall McCoy home site. After the showing of the new Diggers episode, property owners Bob and Rita Scott expect the airing to generate additional enthusiasm.
“Preserving the history and the heritage of the Hatfields and McCoys is important to the future of the tourism industry in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia,” said Scott. “It’s a window of our past and a doorway to our future.”
In 2003, feud descendant Reo Hatfield authored a truce, which he signed, along with descendants Bo and Ron McCoy, to officially end the feud between the two families, an event that was witnessed by the world on CBS’s Early Show.
“The Real McCoy” episode will air August 10 at 9:30 p.m.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)
(NatGeo and the Pike County Tourism CVB contributed to this article.)