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Americans fascinated with 'Hatfields and McCoys'

Associated Press Published: June 18, 2012

MATEWAN, W.Va. (AP) — More than a century after the last shots were fired in America's most famous feud, the Hatfields and McCoys mingle peacefully in the mountains they call home. They sing together in church choirs, share pot-luck lunches and headline an ever-growing annual festival.

Now when the two clans that spilled so much blood decide to tussle, they do it with a tug of war, not rifles. When the families tried to outmuscle one another in a recent rope-pulling skirmish, the only volleys fired were playful taunts.

Their names remain forever linked, but now in a pursuit of commerce. Businesses capitalize on the Hatfield-McCoy name. And the fascination with the families' bloody past may help propel their hardscrabble patch of Appalachia toward a more prosperous future.