Disputes then arose about who actually owns and controls mineral rights on the Blair Mountain properties. After the State Historic Preservation Office did not support putting the site on the National Register, it was removed from the register.
Susan Pierce, director of SHPO at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, did not have any comment about Monday's rally at the Culture Center.
In September 2010, a lawsuit seeking to restore Blair Mountain to the National Register of Historic Places was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the National Park Service by the Sierra Club, Friends of Blair Mountain, West Virginia Labor History Association and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.
In April, the United Mine Workers joined the pending lawsuit.
"We hope to hear what will happen this month," Ayers said. "If we win, it is back on the National Register."
Nida said the recently organized Coal County Tour Program brings between $8,000 and $10,000 to the local economy every night one of its buses stops at the Blair Mountain Battlefield.
"They are planning 12 tours next year," Nida said. "We have already had hundreds of visitors coming into the museum we have already developed in Blair."
Local residents, coal miners, academics and environmentalists all are working on efforts to save Blair Mountain, Nida said.
Fought over five days in late August and early September 1921, the Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed confrontation in U.S. labor history.
More than 10,000 coal miners marched south from Marmet toward Logan County, seeking to organize nonunion miners into the UMW. They confronted about 3,000 law enforcement officers, many of whom worked directly for coal companies.
Miners and local police officers fought on Blair Mountain in sometimes deadly confrontations until U.S. Army units and fighter planes arrived and ended the conflict.
More information is available at www.friendsofblairmountain.org.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.