Gray Holler is the largest worker camp run by the Matewan Mining Company. Before the war, Gray Holler was a coal-mining operation in the hills between Delbarton and Red Jacket, about ten miles north of Matewan. Now, it is the largest money maker for the mining company and produces the most coal for the region.
Before the war, the mine that would become Gray Holler was an ambitious coal-mining project designed to make coal useful again and bring southwest West Virginia back on the map. The area was suspected to blanket a massive deposit of West Virginian coal. When the Great War occurred, work had already started at Gray Holler, and a large portion of the area had been torn open as the company began to mine. However, the war put an end to the mining operation, and the massive deposit of coal was soon forgotten. Locals who passed by noticing the gray earth of the depression that the company had carved out and began to refer to the region as "Gray Holler".
For many years, Gray Holler's potential remained untapped. Residents of the area were suspicious of the gray earth, and rumors began to develop that the hollow was haunted, that evil spirits had visited it and left a poisonous mark on the earth. However, not all were so easily led. Andrew Straw, son of Jeremiah Straw, the founder of the Matewan Mining Company, while out inspecting the region north of Matewan for possible coal deposit, noticed the gray patch of land and asked his guides what it was. They warned him that it was the legendary haunted "Gray Holler", where nothing would grow, a dead patch of ground. Andrew went down for a closer look. Upon inspecting the ground and the area, he realized that Gray Holler was, in fact, a potentially lucrative mining operation. He returned to Matewan with news of a massive mining operation and began to move some of his company's workers out to Gray Holler.
The first group of workers arrived at Gray Holler in the late weeks of 2162 and began to set up tents and shanty houses. Once that was established, they began to work, using pickaxes and dynamite to blow holes in the sides of Gray Holler and dig out the coal underneath. For years, work of Gray Holler was uneventful: workers would go down into the tunnels early in the morning and break open rocks to look for coal. Every once in a while, some would get leave to return to Matewan to shop and visit family. However, soon, the local doctor at Gray Holler began noticing that ordinarily healthy workers and, sometimes, non-miners, were coming down with the "Black Lung" disease, a coal-mining disease that ordinarily affected older miners. Apparently, the abundance of dust from the coal around Gray Holler that lay on the ground in the Holler had a tendency to blow up as the result of winds, causing the people in the camp near Gray Holler to inhale the dust and develop Black Lung. They could not stay in that area for longer. Eventually, the administration of the Matewan Mining Company decided that something had to be done, and they relocated the workers at Gray Holler and moved new workers in. This started the cycle that the people of Gray Holler operate under today: workers are moving in for a few months, then moved out again and replaced. This way, the company can continue to mine at Gray Holler without losing productivity or workers to advanced Black Lung.