Opening day approaching for Hatfield McCoy Museum

From the Cut-Through project that moved mountains, the infamous Hatfield/McCoy feud, to the rich production of coal which partly defined the region’s emergence, Pikeville and Pike County has a background rich in history. Now, the city of Pikeville will be home to the Pikeville-Pike County Hatfield McCoy Museum.

Director Polly Hopkins hopes to have the museum up and running before the annual Hillbilly Days festival beginning on April 16.

Hopkins, a Pike County native, studied French at the University of Kentucky where she then went on to teach English in France under a teaching assistantship. Upon moving home from France, she was informed about the museum position and submitted an application.

The museum, which is located on the fourth floor on the former Hall of Justice, will provide the community and visitors a look into the many aspects of the city’s and county’s history from the coal background to the Hatfield/McCoy Feud.

Hopkins hopes to create a dynamic space that will be interactive in nature. She hopes to incorporate video screens, bring in local artists, and display temporary collections.

One element that Hopkins wants to utilize is social media. She wants to incorporate an active blog site that visitors can follow.

What can we expect to see in the museum? Hopkins is working on putting together themed rooms such as a coal room which will focus on coal in the region and how it has shaped many lives. Also a local high school room will display local schools and sports, as well as an arts and entertainment room, and a room that focuses primarily on Pikeville and the Cut-Through project.

Some of Hopkins’ favorite pieces include old tools and household items. She wants to set the tools up to appear to be in an old tool shop to create an educational visual.

“I am excited to see the museum go from an idea to something physical,” said Hopkins on the opening of the museum.

Hopkins hopes the museum will allow individuals to see history in a positive light and will inspire them to learn about local history on their own.

She hopes to have interns from UPIKE to assist her in the museum and wants to get the local schools involved by bringing them in on field trips.

If you are interested in making this dream a reality and want to volunteer at the museum, contact director Polly Hopkins at or by phone at (606)213-4397.


Casting Crowns is Coming to the Expo May 7

Following a successful 39 – city run which played to more than 154,000 fans, multiplatinum-selling group Casting Crowns will stop at the SMG managed East Kentucky Expo Center.  An Evening With Casting Crowns will visit Pikeville on May 7, 2015. This date was changed from April 9 due to illness withing the band.

In the past few years, Casting Crowns has garnered numerous accolades including three GRAMMY® nominations, an RIAA 2x multi-Platinum certification and multiple RIAA Gold certifications, with total album sales surpassing 8 million. Building on that momentum, An Evening With Casting Crowns is sure to not disappoint, with a set list that includes Casting Crowns’ biggest hits – spanning more than a decade of ministry – in addition to selections from the group’s new release, THRIVE (Beach Street/Reunion Records), the band’s first full-length effort in two years.

The songs on THRIVE are an extension of what lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall has been teaching his students at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he serves as youth pastor. The heart behind the project is for these songs to encourage believers to dig down into the roots of who they are in Christ so that they are fully equipped to reach out and share their faith with others. Following this theme, half of the songs on the album are focused on “reaching out,” while the other half are dedicated to “digging deep.”

Tickets will be on-sale January 30, 2015, and will be available at the Appalachian Wireless Box Office which is located at the East Kentucky Expo Center, or charge by phone by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Prolific CCM band Casting Crowns has achieved major sales milestones including one RIAA 2x multi-Platinum album, three RIAA Platinum albums, two RIAA Platinum DVDs, six RIAA Gold albums, four Gold DVDs and four RIAA Gold certified digital singles. The band currently holds the position as Billboard’s top-selling act in Christian music since 2007. The group has also been honored with two American Music Awards (out of six total nominations), a GRAMMY® Award for its 2005 album Lifesong, has received six GRAMMY® nominations, garnered 17 GMA Dove Awards and two 2012 Billboard Music Awards (out of six total Billboard Music Award nominations). Casting Crowns’ seven band members all remain active in student ministry in the Atlanta area and tour according to their local church commitments. Serving his 20th year in youth ministry, lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall maintains his role as the student pastor at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta. On January 28, 2014, Casting Crowns released its seventh studio record, THRIVE, which follows the release of its 2013 collection album, Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1. For more info, visit