Eleanor Roosevelt's Little Village, Arthurdale, WV

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The Homestead Project of Arthurdale

EleanorWelcome to Arthurdale, the nation’s first New Deal homestead subsistence project championed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The first homesteaders arrived in 1934 and each property was 2 – 5 acres in size to allow the families to raise food and livestock. Modern amenities not commonly available around the country at that time – electricity, indoor plumbing, and a refrigerator – were provided to all 165 homes constructed by the federal government as a way to help families during the Great Depression. This ground-breaking project’s public buildings have been restored by residents who appreciated this second chance at life and knew the value of preserving it. A five-building museum is now open to the public year-round to tell the special story of the First Lady’s legacy.

Celebrate Preston County History Day, October 21

See the fall foliage in the mountains and enjoy Preston County History Day on October 21 at four historical sites around the county. The county map can help you plan your trip.

View this county map (.pdf) for the locations.

Times and locations are:

  • Arthurdale Heritage, a five-building complex representing the New Deal’s first subsistence homestead project, (noon – 4:00) on Rt. 92
  • Bruceton Mills, Old Hemlock, country home of outdoors author George Bird Evans. Seven-room stone/log house constructed in 1782, (2:00 – 5:00), 17098 Brandonville Pike
  • Kingwood’s James McGrew House, 1841 home built by the prominent businessman involved in the formation of West Virginia, (1:00 – 3:00) on Rt. 7
  • Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg featuring the World War II Museum, Preston County Sports Museum, and B&O bridges exhibit, café and shops, (1:00 – 5:00) on Rt. 72
  • Terra Alta History House, with 3 floors of Preston County history exhibits, photos and genealogy records, 109 East Washington Street (1:30 – 4:30)

Admission is charged at some sites.

Free Admission to New Deal Homestead Museum

Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. is participating in Smithsonian Magazine’s National Museum Day Live! on Saturday, September 29. Tours of Arthurdale Heritage’s homestead community museum along Rt. 92 in Preston County will be free from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This multi-building museum illustrates the story of Arthurdale as a New Deal Homestead. There is a forge filled with original tools, an old fashioned service station, historic Center Hall, the original federal government administration building, and a fully restored Arthurdale homestead. Tour tickets are available at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/and must be presented for the free admission. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address.




Celebrate Eleanor Roosevelt’s Birthday

Join us in celebrating Eleanor’s 128th birthday at the Reedsville Fire Hall on Saturday, October 6 from 4-7 p.m. Enjoy delicious homemade appetizers and treats, beer, wine, and birthday cake. Listen to acoustic music played by Ray Hicks, Mark Crabtree, and Elmer Rich – who actually played for Eleanor at Arthurdale. Buy raffle tickets on our quilt from the Homestead Quilt Guild made of reproduction 1930s fabrics. Participate in silent auctions for unique period items such as a Depression glass pitcher, antique fiesta plates, rare Homer Laughlin dishes, and more. You do not have to be present to win. Silent auction bids will be blind and can be placed on items by phone at 304.864.3959. Bids will be reviewed at 7 p.m. on Saturday and winners will be notified.

Order your tickets for $15 or 2 for $25 online! You can order weekdays at the Arthurdale Heritage office or by calling 304-864-3959. Tickets at the door are also $15 or 2 for $25.

Silent Auction Items

  • 2 Vintage Homer Laughlin Bowls – donated by Anna Schein. Minor chip on underside of each. Opening bid for set of 2 – $7
  • (Pink) Glass Pitcher with Cherry Blossom pattern, donated by Anna Schein. The pitcher is made by Jeannette Glass between 1930 – 1939.
    Excellent condition, Value is $99 opening bid is $20.
  • (1 Turquoise and 1 Yellow) 10′ Vintage Plates made between 1935 – 1969  – Valued at about $45 each, donated by Jeanne Goodman. Each have opening bids of $10.
  • Snow Owl Apple crate label (10″) in excellent unused condition. Printed in the 1930s in new frame with double mat. Opening bid $10.


Check out Elmer Rich playing mandolin for the first lady.