May 31, 2012 5:50 PM
It turns out pairing a classic Kentucky story with movie star Kevin Costner means ratings gold. The History Channel's hit miniseries "Hatfields and McCoys" is doing good things for the Bluegrass, too.
People at the Pike County tourism office have been working for years to promote Pike County as home to the Hatfields and McCoys feud. Now, getting people in the doors is much easier. The calls hardly stop, and it seems everyone wants to know more about the infamous feuding families.
The Pikeville tourism office said they received 178 brochure requests just on Thursday alone. The bloody, Civil War-era family feud that took place on the West Virginia-Kentucky border comes to life on the history channel in the miniseries staring Costner and Bill Paxton.
For those who can't get enough, the Pike County tourism office has books, t-shirts, and a driving tour which shows the actual homes, the cabins, the graves, almost all of which are in Pike County. The McCoy house still stands in downtown Pikeville, and it is now an Italian restaurant.
Pike County historian Reed Potter was interviewed by the History Channel for its special documentary set to follow the popular series on Saturday. "The mini series is loosely based on the truth," he said. "Hopefully, that will clear some of it up."
Reed said he's excited to see the interest turn to Pike County and to a part of history he says we can still learn from today. "It was a tragic and violent story. No one won," he said.
The timing of the mini series couldn't be more perfect, as the Hatfields and McCoys festival is next weekend. The 13th annual festival set for June 8, 9, and 10th in Williamson, West Virginia and Pikeville. It features a Hatfield and McCoy family reunion.
For more information about the festival, click here.