New Deal Festival

New Deal Festival

Mid-July, one Saturday
The New Deal Festival celebrates the heritage of Arthurdale, W.Va., as the first of about 100 "New Deal" communities established during the Great Depression by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1934 and 1935, the federal government resettled 165 disadvantaged families from nearby coal-mining communities to the 1,000-acre site that was named Arthurdale after its original owner, Richard Arthur. Families were settled in new homes with amenities then unusual for rural dwellers, such as electricity and indoor plumbing. They were encouraged to be self-sufficient by growing food and raising animals, and soon the town had established its own church, post office, and high school.
Such planned towns were a cherished project of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and she visited Arthurdale many times to distribute high school diplomas or Christmas gifts to residents. In 1985, residents established a heritage non-profit organization to purchase land and restore historic buildings to preserve the unique history of the community. They began to mark the town's founding and to celebrate its legacy with the New Deal Festival.
The festival features educational events, such as museum tours, lectures, and book signings. A mountain crafts and antique sale is held, and there are demonstrations of such skills as weaving and blacksmithing. Participants can enjoy live music and story-telling, an antique tractor and car display, and an appearance by "Eleanor Roosevelt," played by an actress.
CONTACTS:
Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.
P.O. Box 850
Arthurdale, WV 26520
304-864-3959
www.arthurdaleheritage.org