Remembering William “Bill” Bauer

Sadly, we share with you news of the passing of William “Bill” Bauer. On January 4th, Arthurdale gained another angel when Bill was reunited with his beloved wife Barbara. Bill and Barbara lived in one of the historic Arthurdale homes and raised six children there. Many of us have wonderful memories of playing in the Bauer home as kids with Linda, Hank, Eddie, Jack. Suzy and Nancy.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., P O Box 850, Arthurdale, WV 26520 or online at: Please include a note stating your gift is for the William and Barbara Bauer Family Legacy. Donations in lieu of flowers may also be sent to the Arthurdale Cemetery.

Friends will be received at Morgan Funeral Home in Reedsville, WV on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 from 2 – 8:00PM and on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 from 10Am until the 11:00AM funeral service. Interment will follow at the Arthurdale Cemetery.


AHI featured on WBOY’s Roaming West Virginia

Last Saturday morning, a man stumbled upon Arthurdale Heritage. He said he had just spent the day driving around Preston County, looking for unique things to feature on Roaming West Virginia. He was pleasantly surprised to discover Arthurdale! Check out the article and video here!

“You can certainly make a day out of it, or a whole weekend out of it. This is just a small portion of what this part of West Virginia has to offer. “

Why Join AmeriCorps at AHI

Why join AmeriCorps at Arthurdale Heritage?

After graduating from WVU last year with a degree in International Studies, I decided to take an AFHA AmeriCorps position at Arthurdale Heritage. My year of service here has been incredible. It’s not only a great resume booster, but also the perfect transition from college to a career. Thanks to the meaningful work we do here, I have learned so many new skills and can now market myself in so many different directions. I’ve seen improvements with my public speaking, confidence, networking, marketing and communication, people skills, and so much more. It also provides invaluable experience if you want to work in the nonprofit world. 

Because of this position, just to name a few examples, I’ve been in the paper twice, on the news once, and on two separate occasions met a WV Senator and a WV Representative. It truly has been a year of personal development, while also making a difference in the community.

About the site, Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. (AHI)

Arthurdale is right next door in Preston County and is a wealth of unique American history. It was the first community created under the New Deal Homestead Subsistence Act. It became Eleanor Roosevelt’s pet project and therefore, she spent a great deal of time here. AHI comprises of the Center Hall complex, Administration building, Forge, old Esso station, and two original homes. One of the coolest things about this AmeriCorps position is that they actually provide housing for their members—a perk not common of other AmeriCorps sites and programs. I get to live in one of the beautiful original homes that the museum owns! Besides a free place to stay while serving for a year, there are other perks to joining AmeriCorps, as well. You get bi-monthly stipends, eligibility for SNAP and other assistance programs, loan deferral, and upon completing your term, you receive an education award of nearly $6,000 that can go towards more schooling or towards student loans.

The community is so fun to work with, too! Being a small nonprofit, we rely a lot on volunteers and fundraising. Those two struggles, believe it or not, are some of the best parts of working here. Many of the volunteers are descendants of original homesteaders or grew up in Arthurdale their whole lives, so they have amazing stories to share. Just being a part of this community alone has made my time here worthwhile.

What do you do?

Day-to-day activities can range from giving tours, to planning events, handling the social media page, helping with unique classes (from weaving to baby goat yoga), volunteer recruitment and management, and overall doing what you can to help the small non-profit museum. You can also attend an array of seminars, courses, conferences, and receive free admission into events to represent AHI, such as Cheat Fest. Serving here is pleasant, fulfilling, and fun! AHI gets two AmeriCorps members a year which makes it even more enjoyable. Serving at AHI has been one of the best decisions I’ve made upon graduation. Both of us AmeriCorps members are grateful for this experience and want to share it with some of those unsure of what to do or looking to serve next year.

New donations for our collections

A BIG thank you to Tom Belmaggio for donating two photos, three reflectors, and two sets of post office boxes!! The reflectors were made in the forge and had come from Wagner house U3. The post office boxes are from the original post office, which was a part of our Center Hall complex, located right next to the Craft Shop. It is so neat to have these items back here to display!

The post office likely moved to its current location in the ’60s. Two postmasters that worked at the original location, however, were Mr. Lovett and Mr. Vanaman. Does anyone have any information about the original post office that they could share with us?

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!