BOOK NOTES: New Book Celebrates History of Tug Valley Through Old Photos

  • By David M. Kinchen 
Williamson, WV (HNN) – A local writer and newspaper reporter has assembled a new book that promises to take readers on a trip back through time, utilizing more than 300 vintage photographs from the Mingo County region.

Memories of Tug Valley, penned by Kyle Lovern and published by Mountain State publisher Woodland Press, Chapmanville, WV, celebrates the colorful and proud history of Mingo County and the Tug River Valley. Using rare images, along with historical narrative, this book reads like a walk down memory lane. Page-by-page, it illustrates the county’s past and depicts many of the people who have shaped the future of this rugged portion of the area.

“It’s the land of the Hatfields and McCoys, the Matewan Massacre, the Glen Alum train payroll robbery, catastrophic floods, and more,” said Lovern. “Hopefully, through this volume, readers will also discover a land of resilient individualists—courageous, inspiring, and hardworking families—who have endured and overcome many setbacks.”
Themes covered include the emergence of the local railroad system, the development of communities, the growth of the coal and timber industries, and the history of local landmarks. Newcomers can experience what the area was once like, and learn about proud West Virginians who have created their own successes.
“This book was really a labor of love,” Lovern added, noting that he is a lifelong resident of Mingo County, having grown up in the community of Nolan. “In addition to my own collection, many old photographs were submitted to me for this project by local residents. The photos are a treasure,” he said.
“The book is already being so well-received. I hope it is bringing back some great memories for those who have lived their lives in the Tug Valley region, and I also hope it will prove valuable for the younger generation. They can see and read about past sports teams and see many of the schools, buildings, and other landmarks their relatives have told them about.”
Lovern, who is also known across the country as a leading Appalachian UFOlogist, authored two other books by Woodland Press, “Appalachian Case Study: UFO Sightings”, “Alien Encounters & Unexplained Phenomena, Volumes I and II”. These titles probe into a number of occurrences that have taken place in the Appalachian mountain region, where he interviewed individuals who have seen or experienced the unexplainable, or documented unusual stories from West Virginia and neighboring states. He has been interviewed on the subject by various newspapers and radio programs across the county, including Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.
Lovern is also the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News.

Downtown Matewan, Mingo County, WV

For additional information about Memories of Tug Valley, see The book, which retails for $21.95, is available online and at better bookstores across the Mountain State.


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