Storyteller Mentions Arthurdale

We wanted to share a recent article from the Appalachian History: Stories, Quotes and Anecdotes website. Storyteller Judi Tarowsky shares her father’s unique story during the 1930s when he freelanced newspaper articles and photographs as a WVU graduate student. She describes his experience with his large Speed Graphic camera used to successfully capture photographs of Eleanor Roosevelt during her visits to Arthurdale, WV. This two-part story describes the national attention on the New Deal and the efforts made by Mrs. Roosevelt to improve coal miners’ lives.

Arthurdale WV: poster child for New Deal efforts to ease the suffering, part 1 Continue Reading


United Way Volunteers Pitch in to Help Arthurdale Heritage

Front Row (left to right): Helen Nikirk, United Way coordinator Martha White. Back Row (left to right): Nick Taylor, Chris Hudson II, Brandon Hudson, Chris Hudson Not Pictured: Lora Quince

Volunteers from the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties rolled up their sleeves to help Arthurdale Heritage (AHI). It was all part of the United Way’s Day of Caring. Six United Way volunteers from WesBanco’s Kingwood branch and Allegheny Energy’s Albright Power Station teamed up with AHI volunteers to clean and organize storage facilities at its Center Hall Complex.

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New Deal Festival Celebrates Arthurdale Heritage’s 25th Anniversary

Arthurdale Heritage President Sarah Barnes (left) and AHI Executive Director Jeanne Goodman (right) display Governor Manchin's proclamation declaring July 'Arthurdale Heritage Month.'

Arthurdale Heritage (AHI) is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this July at its New Deal Festival. To kick off the celebration, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin issued a proclamation declaring July ‘Arthurdale Heritage Month.’

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Volunteers Win State Award for Work on Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Garden

The Preston County Master Gardeners have received top honors for their efforts to construct and maintain Arthurdale Heritage’s Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Garden. Master Gardeners Becky Friend, Mildred Lindley, Russ Sanders, and Barb Sanders were awarded the West Virginia Master Gardener Award of Excellence for Outstanding Volunteer Project. The award, given by West Virginia University’s Extension Service, recognizes volunteers who dedicate a significant amount of time and creative effort in gardening and landscaping projects.

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A Classic Gift for a Classy Dad: Win Two Passes to the Inaugural Greenbrier Classic

UPDATE (5/24/2010): Bidding is now open and you can place your bid here:  Greenbrier Classic Tickets Silent Auction

Win two passes to all practice and competition rounds. Your passes include guaranteed admission to a special concert featuring country music superstars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. can help you make this Father’s Day special with the ideal gift for the dad who loves golf. Treat dad to the thrill of watching the world’s top golfers including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Sergio Garcia. Held at the world-famous Greenbrier, your passes include guaranteed admission to the entire week’s events, including practice rounds. They also include admittance to a special concert featuring West Virginia native Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

The Greenbrier Classic is a PGA Tour FedEx Cup event and runs from July 26 through August 1, 2010. Measuring nearly 7,000 yards and playing to par 70, The Old White Course originally was designed by Charles Blair MacDonald and reopened in 2006 after an extensive renovation by Lester George which returned it to its original design. In preparation for the tournament, minimal course modifications are expected to add a couple of tees and the practice facility will be enhanced. The event features a $6 million-dollar purse and weekend competition rounds will be nationally televised on CBS.

Bidding opens at 9:00am, May 24th here at our website and closes at 4:00pm on June 16th. The winner will be announced Friday, June 18th. Rebid at any time while the auction is open. The highest bid wins. Be sure to check back regularly to see if you’ve been outbid.


The Tale of the Old Table

By Joe Wolfe

My parents, Clinton and Irene Wolfe, were among the first fifty families to move to Arthurdale. Their home was F-6, which was one of the smaller Hodgson houses built on F Road. At that time, they had two daughters, Ruby and Delores. I was born in Arthurdale in 1937. In 1942 we moved further out the road to F-14, which was another Hodgson house but a little bigger than F-6.

Because I was so young, I do not remember much about the early days of Arthurdale. If my parents talked about those early days, unfortunately, I do not recall the conversation. I do not even remember seeing Mrs. Roosevelt, or hearing my teachers talk about her through twelve years of school. Perhaps other things mattered more to me and the community, such as the great turmoil of World War II.

Many people from Arthurdale not only served in the war, but there were shortages at home that people had to deal with. For instance, people could not buy a new car, because they were not being produced, nor could they buy tires or parts for the cars they already owned. It was hard work for families to keep food on the table. Then in 1950, the Korean conflict came along which added more stress. These are the kinds of things people talked about and were concerned with in Arthurdale during the years I was growing up. Very little was said about the history of Arthurdale or how it was founded. That interest has all come since the 50th anniversary of its founding.

I do remember being told that there was a lot of furniture made in Arthurdale and my family was provided with several pieces of it. I know we had two or three beds, bureaus, a large wooden cabinet that Delores still owns, and a nice wooden table with leaves on each side that folded down when not in use.

The kitchens in the Hodgson homes were very small and our table spent most of its time in the living room. Normally, when only family members were home, we ate meals in the kitchen around another small table. Frequently, uncles, aunts, and cousins would show up on Sunday and the Arthurdale table would be pulled out to the middle of the living room, the leaves would be opened up, a table cloth spread on it, and everyone would gather around that table to eat.

Other memories I have are doing school homework on the table, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and playing games around it. Since this was in the days before television, children as well as adults spent time doing other activities in the living room rather than mainly watching TV.

Because I was young and did not pay attention, I am not aware of how many other homes had a table like this one. The only other one I ever saw like it belonged to Mr and Mrs McNelis, our neighbors at F-12. It was also kept in their living room. I visited their home many times and would often see them both sitting at their table working on the daily crossword puzzle from the newspaper. They enjoyed doing that every day.

About 1978, when my parents moved from F-14 to a mobile home, I was given their table and have had it these many years. Just recently, while preparing to move to a smaller home in Ohio, I asked my sisters if we should donate the table to Arthurdale Heritage for use in the E-15 house. They agreed since that way it would remain in Arthurdale where it belongs. If any other former homesteaders read this or see the table, it would be interesting to know if they had a similar one and if they know the whereabouts of it. Perhaps someone even knows how many tables of this type were made in Arthurdale.

NOTE: Today (April 10) is Joe’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Joe, from everyone at Arthurdale Heritage!


Allison R. and Opal J. Neely Family

By Wade Neely

My parents Allison and Opal Neely moved to Arthurdale in 1941 from Reedsville where I was born, September 29, 1940.  They had four children:  Patricia Joann Bjorkman (deceased), William “Bill”, Richard Lance, and myself, Wade A.  All children attended Arthurdale schools.  My mother was a cook at the school.  We lived at CR-1 and were the second family to live in that homestead house.  My brother-in-law, Dick Bjorkman, still resides in the family home.

I am married to Elizabeth “Liz” Goldstrom, originally from Masontown and a granddaughter of original Arthurdale homesteaders, Andrew and Alice Goldstrom.  My wife, Liz, after graduating from West Virginia University in 1964, taught first and fifth grades at Arthurdale in 1965 and 1966.

I attended Arthurdale schools, beginning in first grade in 1947, and continuing through 10th grade in 1956 when Arthurdale and Masontown were consolidated into Valley High School.  I graduated from Valley High in 1958.

I didn’t go to college right after high school.  I started my career as a clerk typist in 1960 in Washington, D.C. with the federal government.  In Washington, I attended Benjamin Franklin University at night and worked a full time job.  I never received a degree but my higher educational experience was a valuable tool in progressing up life’s ladder.  My major was financial management. I had a very successful career as a budget analyst.  I retired on May 31, 1996 with 36 years of federal service.

I think that my parents would be proud of all the accomplishments and/or success that their children have attained coming from such a small town in West Virginia.  That says something for the values instilled in young people by their parents.  I thank them for that.

I have a lot of good memories of growing up in Arthurdale.  I will always remember my first grade teacher, Ms. Liston from Kingwood.  Another memory is when they put a new floor in the gym and installed glass backboards.  There were a lot of good standing-room-only games played in the gym by some VERY GOOD Arthurdale High School basketball teams.  I will always remember those events and also playing on some good basketball teams as a freshman and sophomore.  I am glad that AHI acquired the school buildings and are in the process of restoration.

Arthurdale will always be a place I am proud of.