Blair Mountain backers rally for preservation

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Friends of Blair Mountain held a rally Tuesday at the Culture Center and submitted a petition to the State Historical Preservation Office signed by more than 26,000 people supporting preservation of the historic site on the Boone-Logan county border.

Brandon Nida, a West Virginia native and doctoral student in archaeology at the University of California-Berkeley, said, "The largest labor battle in U.S. history took place on Blair Mountain back in 1921. We need to preserve it, develop it and promote the economy."

Joe Stanley, a retired miner born and raised in Mingo County, said, "I am not anti-mining or anti-coal. I am anti-mountaintop-removal mining. The Battle of Blair Mountain helped start the middle class."

Stanley said the SHPO is supposed "to protect historic structures, objects and sites."...

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