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|Matewan, West Virginia|
|Factions:||Matewan Mining Co., Tug Fork Traders, Hatfields, McCoys, Hill Farmers' Union, Church of the Assembly of God|
|Notable events:||Foundation, Battle of Matewan, Hatfield-McCoy feuds, Great War, Beginning of Coal Mining, Outside Contact, First Trade War, Second Trade War|
Matewan is a small, historically poor pre-War town in one of the most historically poor areas of the United States. Although originally founded as a coal-mining town, Matewan soon grew outdated following the advent of nuclear power. Following the Great War, however, Matewan became an important location in the area, as it was here that coal once again became a viable source for fuel. Now, Matewan is secure and is one of the wealthiest towns in the region, although it is rocked by internal strife between the coal mining company and the traders who move the coal along the railroads and rivers of the region.
- 1 History
- 2 Government
- 3 Economy
- 4 Culture
- 5 Factions
- 6 Notable Citizens
- 7 Layout
- 8 Relationships
Matewan was founded in 1890 by Erskine Hazard, who laid the foundation and drew up a map of a town called "Matteawan" for the Norfolk and Western Railroad company. Local residents of the new town changed the name, and it was established as just another coal-mining town for the Stone Mountain Coal Company.
In 1920, Matewan first achieved local and national renown in the Battle of Matewan. Coal miners of the time worked in poor, hazardous working conditions. Rather than being paid in dollars, the workers were paid in company scrip as reimbursement for their back-breaking labor, scrip which could only be spent at the company store, where managers would charge exorbitantly high prices for goods such as food, clothing, and gear for the job, higher price than the workers could afford, in order to keep the workers perpetually in debt to the company. Matewan miners decided that they had had enough and, with the help of the local mayor, Sid Hatfield, the miners attacked and killed detectives from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. This would later be known as the Battle of Matewan, and it would lead to the much larger Battle of Blair Mountain.
Although the Battle of Matewan was a victory for the cause of coal miners and unionists everywhere, it was a bittersweet one, as it was around this time that coal power was beginning to decline in favor of electricity. Matewan began to settle into a decline as the industry in the town dried up. Although coal was still being used, it was no longer economically viable for coal mining to be conducted on such a massive scale, and so the companies began to cut back. The town sank into a slump, causing residents to fall below the poverty line. Many lacked basic utilities. Although the region was relieved somewhat by the introduction of cheap electricity via the Tennessee Valley Authority, it would fall on still-harder times after the advent of nuclear power. This clean, efficient energy source was a revolution in power, but, due to the expensive nature of nuclear power, many residents were unable to pay for it, resulting in an even-poorer Matewan.
In the days before the Great War, after hearing of the tensions abroad, which were blown out of proportion in the telling, residents of Matewan began to move themselves into the old coal mines for shelter from the impending atomic fire, stockpiling whatever food, goods and arms they could acquire as they did so. When the bombs fell, the majority of the town's residents were safe from the bombs, although their numbers began to drop due to fallout, deaths from complications and cave-ins, and mutations (as noticeable mutants were usually killed).
When Matewan's population emerged from the coal mines some seven years later, they saw a world unlike any they remembered. Covered in grime from the mines and blinking from the sudden excess of natural light that had been absent in their makeshift shelters, Matewan's residents found a world that was dry and barren. Nuclear fire had blasted the land clean, ripping away and destroying the majority of the crops and soil. They could see the bones of those who had not taken shelter, wearing the ragged remains of their clothing on that day. Matewan's residents were fearful, but they were also finally free of the coal mines, of the oppressive feeling of tons of rock squeezing around them, of the constant fear getting lost or trapped in a cave in, of the constant darkness closing about them, just outside of the reach of their lanterns. And so the people from the town formerly known as Matewan began to resettle. They initially began to eke out a scavenging existence. People were organized primarily by family ties, and the town during those first few years was constantly at each others' throats.
Eventually, Matewan's residents realized that they could not survive off the remains of the dead world, fighting over scraps, and so they began to bond together. Rather than scavenging for goods, Matewan's residents began to work together by hunting, farming, and working for each others' benefits. Together, townspeople labored to construct crude shanty houses and get into the older town buildings. The community was held together during this time by the newly-formed Church of the Assembly of God, which built a sense of togetherness amongst the townspeople. This sense of community helped the townspeople fight off early raider attacks on their town. Matewan began to experience growth, as the town's new, more forward-thinking community was able to better provide for each other and build a sense of trust.
However, despite the town's new successes, problems remained, most notably the old Hatfield-McCoy feuds. What originally had begun almost two centuries before the war as a border dispute between the Hatfield and McCoy families continued, largely unabated, after the very borders the two families fought over were erased. The hard-drinking, hard-fighting men of the Hatfields and McCoys continued to fight each other in the streets. Although the fights were largely brawls, they escalated into more serious battles between the two families, and several family members were killed. Fearing for the town's integrity and safety, neutral town members met together and established the Matewan Law Offices. This motley group of fighters, armed with a variety of different weapons, was established as a neutral peacekeeping force designed to use threat of violence to prevent conflicts from escalating. Although both families and bystanders were skeptical, the Law Offices were able to assert themselves and prevent several battles, proving their effectiveness and ensuring the office's survival.
2132-2157: Coal-Mining and Outside Contact
Shortly after the establishment of the Matewan Law Offices, two events occurred which would have far-reaching consequences on Matewan's history. The first was a venture launched by Joel Straw into the Appalachian Mountains. Straw, who had been reading whatever books he could find, gradually discovered the value of the coal in the mountains north of town. Straw figured that he could gain prestige and wealth by using and selling this coal as fuel. In 2132, Straw led a small contingent of men into the mountains surrounding Matewan and struck for coal. The operation was a resounding success, as the miners managed to get quite a large haul of coal. This is widely considered to be the foundation of the Matewan Mining Company, the premier mining and fuel organization in the area.
The second important event was the arrival of a trading caravan from a fairly close-by settlement based out of Meador. This caravan was significant, because it was the first sign that the Matewan populace had had of a peaceful, cooperative world outside of their small, isolated community, and it came bearing goods that the people from Matewan had all but forgotten about. Inspired by the thought of having better, more varied goods, Elias Varney, a local community leader, began leading "expeditions" into the wider area around Matewan. This soon developed into the development of trading relations between Matewan and other nearby towns, especially settlements located on the Tug Fork river. The charismatic Varney was able to both persuade Joel Straw to use Varney's newly-founded business to sell coal to the surrounding settlements and to persuade other settlements of the value of trading with Matewan, leading to the foundation of the Tug Fork Traders. Eventually, Varney managed to establish and manage a network of trading relations with nearby settlements from the old train station on the south side of town.
With these two important developments, the stage was set for Matewan to seize an important role in the area. Coal mining and burning greatly improved the standard of living for Matewan's residents, and the distribution of coal to surrounding settlements via the Tug Fork Traders allowed Matewan to grow due to an influx of goods and settlers. Developments in technology, such as rudimentary railroad carts and coal-powered engines, allowed the Tug Fork Traders to expand their operations by traveling via railroads, allowing them to haul larger amounts of cargo and people in less time.
2157-2280: Wars and Regional Power
However, as Matewan grew, the town ran into problems. With the rapid influx of settlers, Matewan's administration had a hard time finding housing and supplies for them. Eventually, however, as the new settlers began to work for themselves, this no longer became an issue, and Matewan grew further due to its increased labor force. In 2157, Varney died from wounds sustained during a bandit attack on one of his caravans, and Straw, a hard-drinking man, died a year later of liver failure. Their successors were less willing to carry on in the spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit that their predecessors had operated in, and they began to use many tactics, up to and including violence, in order to marginalize or take control of the other, which would allow them increased ability to seize profits. This new business attitude between the two companies began to create tension in Matewan between the two companies, but it also led to the aggressive expansion of Matewan's coal mining and exportation operations. More coal was mined in less time due to a rapid recruitment campaign by the Matewan Mining Company, and the larger Tug Fork Traders began to penetrate further inland, using caravans and what railways they could to increase the scope of their trading operations.
Matewan's wealth soon attracted visitors from other settlements hoping to ply their trade in a region where it would be appreciated. This influx of outsiders was encouraged by town leaders, who realized that wealth was only useful when one could spend it on goods. Matewan soon became the Appalachian's trading mecca, where merchants could sell their wares in relative peace with the distinct possibility of a profit. Merchants selling pre-War goods, such as firearms, fine alcohol, and armor were in special demand because of the town's lack of such wares due to its pre-War poverty.
However, despite the settlement's new wealth and growth, the tensions between the miners and traders were still present, and they grew increasingly quickly when hidden from outsiders' eyes. The final straw came when the Matewan Mining Company began to use its own caravans and barges to undercut the Tug Fork Traders. The Traders, furious at this blatant intrusion onto their turf, responded by launching a raid on a small neighborhood of mining families and killing several workers. This was the first blow in Matewan's Trade Wars, and, although it was by far the worst of the Wars, it would not be the last. Matewan's citizens, fearing for their lives, refused to leave their homes, as, out in the streets and in the wastes around town, miners and traders did battle armed with firearms and melee weapons. The Hatfields and McCoys also used this time to relaunch their feud, increasing the toll taken on the town. The Law Offices, already mobilized due to the destruction of property and the murders committed in the name of the Trade War, were alarmed by the toll the war was taking on the town's economy. Mayor Shawn Gardiner used a series of raids on both aggressors by Law Office soldiers to drag both groups to the negotiation table, where he then used diplomacy to finally settle the trading issue by requiring the Matewan Mining Company deal through the Tug Fork Traders in exchange for the Traders' agreement to pay the Company's set fees. Gardiner forced the two companies to cooperate by using threats of reprisal and the public opinion against the two groups, which neither one was willing to risk.
For a while, relations were normalized, but this was not permanent. The Tug Fork Traders were still infuriated by what they perceived as the Matewan Mining Company's ridiculous profit margins. In order to force the Company to agree to more reasonable prices, Tug Fork guards began confiscating and regulating the distribution of food farmed by the backwoods hill farmers outside of town, forcing them to limit their sales in order to starve the Matewan Mining Company into agreeing to their terms. However, the Tug Fork Traders made one assumption that would prove to be their undoing: they assumed that the hill farmers would be as easily led as the regular citizens of Matewan. The hill farmers, although secretive, strange, and mostly uneducated, prided themselves on their independence, and they saw the Tug Fork Traders' actions as a slight to their freedom. They were already angered by Matewan Mining Company accidents, such as cave-ins and fires, that had sometimes serious consequences to the integrity of their fields. The hill farmers mobilized, forming the Hill Farmers Union, and they responded to outside encroachments on their freedom with deadly force. Union farmers struck at the Traders and the Miners with guerrilla raids on their caravans and storehouses, eventually causing the Traders to back down.
With the emergence of the Hill Farmers' Union and the increased reach of the Law Offices, Matewan's economic tensions began to die down. Although the town would still periodically erupt in violence over points of contention, it was never as violent or as prolonged as the first Trade War. The tensions still exist, however, and there is still the very real possibility that another conflict is just over the horizon. Matewan has become an economic power in the Appalachian area, both as the primary exporter of coal and as a prime location for trade and commerce in the region.
If all things were perfect, Matewan would be a largely self-governing society, with only the barest trappings of a ruling authority present to deal with quarrels that may arise. However, in reality, this is not truly possible. Matewan is a largely independent society, as its citizens are free to live their lives any way they want. Most issues between man-to-man are usually settled by the parties involved, with appeals to a higher power fairly rare. Issues that affect the whole community and can be dealt with at the community's leisure are decided by a town-wide vote, in which every person over 18 is allowed to vote. Theoretically, each person only has one vote, although particularly powerful forces in the community, such as family ties and businesses, often sway people towards other decisions. In times where decisions must be made quickly, the town's council meets. The council is comprised of the Mayor, the primary spokesperson for the Tug River Traders, the current boss of the Matewan Mining Company, an envoy from the Hill Farmers Union, and the deacon of the Church of the Assembly of God, who most often serves as the voice of the town's independent citizens. In times of internal crisis, the Law Offices are entitled to run the town and protect the people from whatever dispute has arisen. Although such crises would seem as the opportune time for the Law Offices to seize power, they are dissuaded from doing so by the realization that their superior firepower and protection would not protect them from the superior numbers of the outraged populace reacting violently to a change in their way of life.
Although the Law Offices try to appear as part of an organized system of crime and punishment, this is mostly a facade. Although the Law Offices can, with the support of the people, force criminals to pay reparations for their crimes, this can only happen when the criminals are brought to the Law Offices for trial. In most instances, frontier justice still prevails in Matewan, as it does in most other locations in the Wasteland. Crimes are paid for with the criminals' lives, and they are acquitted when they kill their attackers or force them to surrender. The Law Offices try and dissuade open killing in the streets as much as they can, but they have no such control outside of the town limits, where the hill farmers and the wasteland rule. The practice of dueling is practiced in Matewan, where the offended parties and their chosen seconds agree on the time, place, and nature of the duel before beginning their fights. Most duels are fought until first blood or until one party is put into submission. Duels to the death do happen on occasion, but they often result in attacks by the family of the newly-deceased; these types of duels are most often practiced by the Hatfields and McCoys.
Matewan's economy hinges primarily on the mining and sale of the coal from the mountains. Although other settlements in the area mine and export coal, Matewan's shrewd businessmen from the Tug Fork River traders have managed to secure a number of contracts with other settlements and groups, ensuring that they buy primarily from Matewan. Coal has made the town and its people prosperous, bringing wealth and power to the area. Coal is mined by miners from the Matewan Mining Company, who then sell the coal to the Tug Fork Traders. The Tug Fork Traders, in turn, ship the coal to other settlements, usually by barge, caravan, and occasionally train car, where they sell the coal for higher prices. Although the system has many flaws, mostly in the relationship between the miners and the traders, it is safeguarded by the Law Offices to ensure that the town continues to prosper from its sale. The sale of coal has such import in Matewan's economy that the town's principal currency is based off of it: citizens of Matewan use "coal-dollars" to trade. These coal-dollars are backed by the value of coal in the region and can be redeemed with coal from the Matewan Mining Company's stores. One coal-dollar is equal to one "quarter-weight" of coal; that is, a lump of coal equal in weight to a roll of pre-War quarters. The standard Wasteland currency of caps is used as well, although coal-dollars or bartering with goods are preferred methods of payment.
Although coal production is Matewan's primary industry, other markets play an important role in Matewan's economy. Next to coal, trade in alcohol is the largest market in Matewan, as alcohols of varying kinds are brought in from stills and breweries from all around to be sold. Most alcoholic drinks are some kind of hard liquor, especially moonshine and whiskey, although other kinds of spirits are also sold. Matewan also maintains a healthy market for scavenging, and scavengers often come into town after weeks abroad in order to refill their canteens and sell what they've found in the town's central bazaar. These goods are quickly purchased, as many of the town's residents can find a use for them. Although many goods can be put to use in the town, scavengers have found that Matewan's citizens place especially high value on scrap metal and machine parts. The trade in weaponry is also thriving in Matewan due to a cultural obsession with personal firearms and the presence of gunsmiths in the town, who manufacture crude scrapper firearms for sale. The hill farmers also sell food grown on the slopes of the mountains around town, and they often find ready markets due to the fact that not all of Matewan's citizens can cultivate crops. There is also a small market for machine parts, which are often used in the manufacture of crude steam engines as part of an initiative by the Tug Fork River Traders to connect the area by rail so that coal can be shipped quickly in greater quantities to the surrounding area.
As a general rule, Matewan's families live a life of independence and self-sufficiency. Families are expected to provide for themselves, and only in dire straits do they dare ask their neighbors for aid. Because much time is spent working, sleeping, eating, and tending for the home, Matewan's citizens rarely have time to socialize with each outside of trading for goods, although those with the energy after the day's chores are taken care of will often meet to drink and play music.
The Church of the Assembly of God plays an important role in Matewan society, as it is here that Matewan's citizens meet about once a week to hear sermons, socialize, and celebrate. Services usually last several hours and consist of sermonizing, both by the deacon and by "inspired" members of the community, the singing of traditional hymns, either penned far before the war or adaptations of folk songs, and the consumption of "blessed" food and drink, which confers an ill-defined spiritual blessing upon those who partake in it. Most of the church's sermons are the same, warning against "attacks by the evil world" and preaching "vigilance" against evil. It also makes frequent mention of a "realm of punishment" for the "morally wrong", but stresses that those who have faith in the practices of the church are the "chosen people" who will be brought to a land of plenty. After services, families will usually stay after for a reception, in which families will mingle and socialize with each other while sharing food made especially for the occasion.
Music is another important part of Matewan culture. From an early age, citizens of Matewan are given an instrument, perhaps a fiddle or a mandolin, perhaps a banjo or guitar, with which they will learn to play folk songs. After the work for the day is done, citizens often practice their instruments or, if they feel particularly energetic, meet up with others to play. However, this is not particularly common. Most musical playing in Matewan happens during "gatherings", large parties thrown by families celebrating a recent windfall or success. These are common during the harvest season, but they also occur after a worker at the mine finds a large load of coal or after a salesman secures a large contract for the Traders. These "gatherings" are quite similar to the Pre-War phenomenon of "barn-raisings", in which families would come together to work towards raising a barn, after which they would engage in various recreational activities. Much the same happens in gatherings. Families will come together to eat and socialize. Music is a favorite, as are playful "wrestling" bouts, shooting competitions, and displays of one's prowess in knitting or quilting.
Gender roles in Matewan are fairly clearly-defined. Although the mentality of "staying in the kitchen" can no longer be adopted, based on the simple fact that it is not practical, women in Matewan are often expected to care more for the family's home, food, and plot of land, while men are more likely to be found working. These roles are occasionally reversed or ignored with little social repercussions, but the above situation is by far the most likely.
Special mention must be made, however, in regards to the Hill Farmers Union. This is the name used by the hill farmers outside of town in order to prevent a unified front against the "encroaches" of the "townies", but it is actually an incorrect term. That term actually refers to a large tribe of farmers and hunter-gatherers known as the "Caintucks". Originally a regional term for the state of Kentucky, "Caintuck" became popular as a term for a citizen of Matewan who lived across the Tug Fork River, in Kentucky, rather than in West Virginia. When the people of Matewan emerged from the mines, they noticed that the secretive tribal group across the river who made a living farming on the hillsides were "Caintucks". Although the word evolved into a slur, the Caintucks saw the term as a sign of their tribal solidarity and adopted it for themselves.
The Caintucks live in a culture that shares several similarities with that of Matewan proper, such as an emphasis on music, a sense of self-sufficiency, and a monotheistic religion. However, their culture often seems much more dour than that of Matewan's, which is due to a bleak worldview brought on by the harsh realities of a life spent eking out an existence on the steep slopes of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia hills. Because of the high potential for crops to fail due to exposure, poor weather, and other causes, Caintucks are much more dependent on each other. Like Matewan's citizens, they are not fond of asking for help, but they have less qualms about it than Matewan's citizens. This fosters a sense of community among the Caintucks, who see themselves as an interdependent clan, rather than a group of geographically-related families. This sense of community is further strengthened by the Caintucks' religion, which preaches a message of a remote, indifferent god who created a harsh world and then left it to its own devices. Caintucks do not believe in miracles and divine help; instead, they realize that they must rely on their own skills and the skills of those who care for them if they wish to survive. Caintucks are often disgusted by Matewan citizens, whose sense of individual self-reliance they cannot comprehend and whose wealth they condemn. The often-poor Caintucks have come to see themselves as beacons of humble, simple living, and they condemn the wealthier "townies" as being materialistic, cold-hearted, and profit-centered who would rather amass coal than aid their neighbor. This worldview has, understandably, created a great deal of friction between Matewan's citizens and the Caintucks, friction which is controlled primarily through the activities of the Matewan Law Offices.
The Law Offices are a group of highly effective soldiers that help keep the peace in Matewan. They claim descent from the old Matewan police force and from other law enforcement agencies and have even adopted the aesthetic of these groups, but, because there are no real "laws" to enforce, the Law Offices function more as a general peacekeeping force. They were originally created in order to prevent the danger of the Hatfield-McCoy feuds destroying the town, but they have since expanded their operations to prevent the Tug Fork Traders and the Matewan Mining Company from killing each other and interrupting trade and to prevent the Caintucks and the citizens of Matewan from harassing each other.
The Law Offices specialize in a mixture of fighting and diplomacy, spending their time either training or trying to prevent attacks against one of their vested interests or hunting down those that have attacked these interests. They function as a combination of police and detectives. They are typically paid for their services through food and other goods from the people of Matewan, as they have no time to grow their own food. The Law Offices have no formal structure: one's position within the offices is decided through seniority and skill level, with the leader of The Law Offices began to fall out of favor with the people of Matewan during a period of peace, when its members would arrogantly receive tribute without doing anything. However, with the promotion of Jonah Church to the position of Mayor, this has subsided due to his temperament and approach towards what he sees as his duty.
Matewan Mining Company
The Matewan Mining Company is an agency based around the mining and eventually refining of coal for sale in Matewan and abroad through the Tug Fork Traders. The Company employs approximately 35% of males in Matewan as miners, foremen, and guards. It is headed by Nicholas Straw, the oldest male member of the Straw family that first founded the company, and is organized loosely with him at the top, followed by his managers, guard captains, and chief foremen of his mining sites, then guards and miners. The company, and Straw in particular, are unhappy with the arrangement between the Company and the Tug Fork Traders, but they honor it because it is the only system of enterprise that they have known. There is talk between Straw's managers that the company head is trying to find a way to separate the company from the Traders and distribute coal under the company's own auspices.
The company controls a small printing press, which allows them to issue currency based on the value and quantity of their coal, with each single bill redeemable for a lump of coal equal in weight to a roll of pre-War quarters. This allows coal to be traded without actually being physically moved between owners. Employees are paid in these "coal-dollars", which they can then exchange for food and other goods.
The Matewan Mining Company runs several worker camps in and around downtown Matewan, where workers live in shacks or tents. While the males work in the mines, their families usually attempt to grow crops or raise animals for food. The company has its headquarters in a large house a few miles from town, where Nicholas Straw lives and confers with his advisers.
The constant relocation of workers from Matewan to Gray Holler and other similar mining sites in the area around Matewan, in addition to the company's practice of paying workers just enough for food, has started to take its toll. Workers, miners especially, are becoming angry that they have to break their backs every day to make money for the company's heads, yet they cannot pay for their children's shoes without becoming permanently indebted to the company. A recent string of guerrilla raids on mining company property may prove that the miners are no longer willing to let the company push them around.
Tug Fork Traders
The Tug Fork Traders is a guild of traders based at the train station on the southern side of town. The traders began business moving coal mined by the Matewan Mining Company to the surrounding settlements, and the selling of coal still makes up a large portion of the Traders' income, but the Traders have since branched out into the sale of alcohol, food, and guns, as well as providing safe transportation around the area for those with the coin. Traders travel far and wide, bringing goods to far-away communities and attracting trade to the central bazaar in Matewan's center. Traders travel by barge and caravan, protected by armed guards. Altogether, the Traders employ approximately 15% of Matewan's population. The organization is headed by a "board of directors", a group of senior traders, managers, and guards which together decide the best course of action for the Traders to take in any situation.
With the influx of wealth into Matewan, the town has become a haven of economic security that attracts people of all walks of life, including intelligent post-war "designers" and "engineers". The Traders see the value in enlisting the aid of these people, and they have promised them great rewards in return for their aid in designer a post-war rail system. So far, they have succeeded in creating a rudimentary system of tracks that can be traversed by a crude steam engine, fueled by coal and wood. This allows for large amounts of people and goods to be moved quickly, but the scarcity of replacement parts for damages and the difficulty of replacing track has made rail travel for the Traders mostly inefficient. Rails are used by traders moving people and freight, but infrequently. Still, this is a great boost for the Traders' morale and a sign that progress is still possible.
The Traders are still at enmity with the Matewan Mining Company despite the fact that, overall, they are generally pleased with the current trading arrangement that the company and the Traders have established. Besides the Mining Company, the Traders also have a rivalry with the Hill Farmer's Union. The Caintucks that make up that Union do not trust the Traders after they tried to cut off the tribals' trade ties with Matewan, and the Traders resent that the Caintucks march straight into town, right past their office, with goods to sell in the central bazaar.
Jonah Church--Current Mayor of Matewan
Most of Matewan consists of the pre-War buildings of the town, which have been patched up by repairs to prevent neglect from taking its toll. The town center is located between Mate Street, State Route 1056, and the Tug Fork River and boasts the highest density of people, as well as the Matewan general store, the Black-Eye's Bar, and the Church of the Assembly of God. It is also where the town's market meets, where trade directly between citizens commonly takes place. Although usually a small, ramshackle affair, with only a few vendors, the market explodes in size just after planting and harvest, when merchants from all around come to barter their wares.
Beyond the town center, citizens live along Tug Fork River, across the bridge into pre-War Kentucky, and along Main Street up into the highlands. There are several collections of tents or small sheet-metal houses, work camps for the Matewan Mining Company, and a sizable amount of workers for the Tug Fork Traders live around the old train station, using old train cars as houses or setting up tents wherever they have space.
Mississippi Traders Union: Tug Fork Traders have come into contact with elements of the MTU. While opportunities for trade exist, the distance between the two groups is still too great to justify regular trade relations.