All that remains here today is the hand dug well that Randolph McCoy and his family walked to many times each day from their nearby cabin to draw water.
Today, this scenic location is washed in beauty nestled on this quite hillside. As you you peacefully walk up from the nearby creek, it is hard to imagine the horrors that faced the McCoy family here at the height of the feud.
On New year's Day 1888, Randolph, Sarah and their children blew out the candles and turned in for the night. Only a few short hours later, they were awakened by shouts and gunfire and their small mountain cabin became the scene of what would later become known as the 1888 New Year's Night Massacre.
Sometime in the night, thirteen of the Hatfield gang, headed by Jim Vance, surrounded the McCoy homestead, near the mouth of Pond Creek, and opened fire on the sleeping family.
The family took cover and began to fire back, wounding a number of their attackers. In order to drive Randolph into the open, the mauraders set the house and its contents on fire.
As the family fled for their lives, young Calvin McCoy and his sister Alifair, were shot and killed, somewhere near this very well.
Their mother ran to aide her son and daughter, only to be beaten over the head with the butt of a gun, and left with the children to die on the cold mountain side.
Randolph was eventually able to escape into the darkness with the remaining family members
Later that same year, Wall Hatfield and eight others were arrested by a posse led by "Bad" Frank Phillips and brought to Kentucky to stand trial for the murders of the McCoys.
Nine of the men involved in the incident were arrested and brought to trial for the New Year’s night raid.
Of these men, eight received life sentences. One man, Ellison "Cottontop" Mounts, was hanged in front of an audience of thousands in Pikeville, Kentucky.
The remaining McCoys moved to Pikeville to escape the West Virginia raiding parties. They lived in a house at the end of Main Street in Pikeville. Randall ran a ferry across the river to Ferguson Creek. Sarah healed from the brutal beaten but was never fully herself and mourned the loss of her children until her death.
Previous caches at this location - GC2JE3P "The McCoy House" which was generously archived by whbaisden for inclusion of the Homeplace and Well in the Hatfield McCoy geotrail.
Very special thanks to Bob Scott for permission for cache placement.
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