Ever wonder how “Arthurdale” got its name? Watch today’s video to learn more about the history of the Arthur Family and how their land would become the site of the first New Deal Homestead Community in the United States.
Arthurdale Heritage might be closed to the public, but our AmeriCorps have been working hard to bring you unique online content! AHI has launched a new web series, uploaded on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page, that will share with you all Arthurdale’s unique history.
Our fully guided tour gives you a very in-depth look at Arthurdale and the homesteaders, but there is so much more we want to share with you all. We will be exploring artifacts in our archives and some of Arthurdale’s story we don’t have time to share during the tour – like Arthurdale’s connection to John Fairfax.
Do you have any questions or specific interests that you would like to hear us talk about? Email email@example.com with your suggestions!
It is with heavy hearts that we are announcing that Arthurdale Heritage will be closed for the foreseeable future. This includes our fully guided tours and our Craft Shop. We discussed this issue at length, but we believe we should do our part in limiting social interaction to best protect our most vulnerable community members. After all, our community is the most important part of the Heritage.
This doesn’t mean we are going away! We will be increasing our social media presence to bring you inside looks at our museum and our artifacts (and maybe some great goat videos!). If you’re feeling cooped up at home, we do have outdoor signage that can guide you on a nice walk around our grounds, and an audio tour option on our website that you can listen to as well. Our driving tour, which will take you around our community and share some of the history with you from the comfort of your car, will still be an option. Brochures will be available outside our Shop door. We want to continue interacting with our supporters, so please share any ideas or questions you might have about aspects of our museum.
Tours and events provide a significant portion of AHI’s operating budget each year, and we are going to have to figure out new and creative ways to reach financial stability in light of crisis. We understand that many of you are going through hard financial situations right now, but we ask that if you can continue to support AHI to please do so. Our online shop is open and ready to ship! Consider purchasing a gift card for a future class (because they will come back!). Anyway that you can help, WILL help.
We will keep you updated on the status of future events, but in the meantime we hope our community and our supporters stay safe and healthy. Reach out to us, talk to us, and we can all get through this together.
It is with deep sadness that we share with you the passing of S.L. “Bud” Bjorkman. Arthurdale gained another angel on February 10th. Bud will be greatly missed by our community having been life long residents of Arthurdale and friend to all.
Bud was born November 27, 1927 in Connersville (Dunn County), Wisconsin the son of Joseph & Olga (Hedlund) Bjorkman.
He graduated from Masontown High School in 1947, where he was a standout in baseball, basketball, and selected all county in football.
He married Helen Louise (Piggy) Sansalone in August of 1948.
He was a very hard worker. His family moved to WV when his father came to run one of the largest mining drag lines on the east coast. Bud followed in his father’s footsteps and began running drag lines as a teenager, working before going to school and then returning after to continue his shift. For several years, he and his brothers combined their experience to form the Bjorkman Mining Company. Bud ultimately worked for the Luzerne Coal Company in Brownsville, PA until he formally retired from mining. Bud’s work ethic however meant he was not satisfied to sit around, and he began mowing yards and volunteering. He was a godsend to multiple community organizations including Hospice thrift stores (which was a highlight of his work) and Valley Food Pantry, who he supported monetarily, but especially with his time and many talents. He and his wife, Piggy, were devoted supporters of Preston County schools attending sports and PHS theater productions year-round. He was well known in the Arthurdale Community as the “Ice Cream Man”.
Bud was known as much for his generosity as he was for his work ethic, he was honored as a Distinguished West Virginian in April 2000, by Governor Cecil Underwood, as well as receiving multiple honors and accommodations from the many community organizations he volunteered for.
Bud is survived by his two children, Mark Bjorkman & wife Bonnie of Manassas, VA, Kim Bjorkman Riley and husband Errol of Reedsville, WV; and one sister, Mary Jones, of Columbus, OH; 3 grandchildren, Brooke Bjorkman LeVecchi and husband Joe, of Lorton, VA, Betheny Bjorkman Schumacher and husband Mike of Warrenton, VA, Abby Riley Lawson & husband Chad of Bruceton Mills, WV; and 5 great grandchildren: Laci, Leighton & Levi LeVecchi, Gaaron & Adley Lawson. Sister-in-law Rose Ann Sansalone, Masontown. He is also survived my many nieces and nephews that adored “Uncle Bud”.
He was preceded in death by brothers Joe & Dick Bjorkman and spouses, sister and brother in law, John and Rose (Bootsie) Kovach, brother-in-laws Frank Sansalone, Jr., Alan Jones and Grandson, Aaron Lynn Riley.
At Bud’s request he will be cremated, and a celebration of his life will be held in the spring.
Want an easy way to support Arthurdale? Consider signing up for Kroger Rewards! If you already have a Kroger card, simply sign in to your digital account and select Arthurdale Heritage (HA732) from the list of local organizations. Once you’re enrolled, AHI is rewarded EVERY time you use your loyalty card when you shop. This support comes at absolutely NO extra cost to you; all you have to do is shop as normal!
DON’T FORGET! Once enrolled, you need to re-enroll and re-select Arthurdale every year. It can be an annoying process but overall, this is incredibly helpful to AHI. Make sure to double check you’re still enrolled!
The votes have been counted and Arthurdale Heritage is happy to announce the three winners of our community house decorating contest! The effort and thought put into the decorations were clear, and the contest attracted visitors from out of town and truly made our community proud! We had three categories to win in, with prizes being $20 Visa gift cards donated by Mary West and handcrafted wooden ornaments and plaques made by Terry Day.
Best Traditional Display: 603 CR Road, The Ervins
Best Light Display: 711 Q Rd, The Mays (with a Disney display!)
Most Creative: 66 Oak View Lane, The Zinns
Thank you to everyone who participated and we wish everyone the best for next year’s competition! Happy Holidays from AHI!
Back of Craft Shop
The rotted wooden siding on the back of the Visitors Center/Craft Shop. This part of Center Hall operated as a craft shop in the 30s and still does today!
Cedar Shake Roof
The rotting roof on our museum building. This building was the administration building while Arthurdale was a federal project, from November of 1933-1947. It is now our beloved museum.
Arthurdale’s Craft Shop and Visitor Center will be closed for the week of Thanksgiving, November 25-29. The Craft Shop will be open November 30th 11-3pm, starting our Saturday Holiday Hours. Additional Holiday Hours are:
- Saturday, December 7th 11-3pm
- Saturday, December 14th 11-3pm
- Saturday, December 21st 11-3pm
Happy Holidays and have a great Thanksgiving!
Arthurdale Heritage is in the process of updating the National Register of Historic Places nomination, which was completed in 1989. The boundaries of the historic district will not be changing, but in order to have the most accurate and up-to-date information needed for the state, we will be doing a resurvey of the district.
A survey includes gathering information about the properties within the district, included but not limited to siding material, date of construction, and photos of the structures. This is particularly important for the original homestead houses, but this information will need to be gathered from ALL properties within the historic district.
Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the process and answer any questions the community has. If you are unable to make it to the meeting but would like to speed up the process, there is a simple google form that you can fill out at https://forms.gle/1SS1qZNJ8FK62BWK7 that will provide AHI with the necessary information to update the register.
Want to get more involved in a very important historic research project? There is plenty of need for volunteer help to complete the nomination. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering!
Let Arthurdale Heritage help get you in the Christmas spirit this holiday season!