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 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.




Celebrate Preston County History Day, September 16

Enjoy a scenic drive on Preston County History Day. You will learn about the past at five interesting historical sites around the county. This event is scheduled for Sunday, September 16.

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
  • Aurora Area Historical Society, exhibiting artifacts from the 1930-‘40s donated by local families, (1:00 – 4:00) along Rt. 50 in the old general store building
  • 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. The next Preston County History Day will be on October 21.

Kids of All Ages!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 25 from 4 – 6 p.m. when Arthurdale Heritage will be hosting our annual Ice Cream Social. Our Junior Board Members are planning this year’s event and it is sure to be a lot of fun.

That date is the second Saturday after school starts, so spread the word to all Preston County kids that they’re invited to the party.

Following the Ice Cream Social, the AHI Jr. Board will be hosting a Back to School dance in the Center Hall from 7-9 p.m. Admission is $5 for students grades 4th-8th and refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!

Ice Cream Eating Contest