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.

Visit Preston County History: Fairfax Manor

In collaboration with Preston County History Day activities, the Fairfax Manor is open for tours two Sundays this summer: July 16 and August 20 from 2 – 5 pm. The historic home is still a family home and the current owner, Caroline Richmond, will open the historic home for FREE tours on these days.

Built in 1818 during the inception of Preston County, many of the original fittings of the original home are preserved – 9 over 6 and 6 over 6 windows, carved fireplace mantels with center medallions, center hall layout, numerous “old house” features, and great views of the county.

The home has an interesting Arthurdale connection — long before the time of Richard Arthur and Eleanor Roosevelt, the area that became Arthurdale was a plantation owned by Col. John Fairfax family.  Fairfax had served in the Revolutionary War with George Washington and had been an overseer at Mt. Vernon before coming to this area.  Although his stone Georgian stone 2-story home and Kingwood plantation were over 10 miles away, he and his wife are buried in Arthurdale.

Don’t miss the chance to see a unique piece of local history!

The street address is 1358 N. Preston Hwy. (Rt. 26 North of Kingwood, on the right, shortly after Eckert Heating)

New Deal Festival 2017

The New Deal Festival is just around the corner! Join us in celebrating the New Deal, those who came before, and the history of Arthurdale. Find out more on the festival at the event website: newdealfestival.org . Gates open at 10 am and the day will be filled with four live music groups, craft show, antique car and tractor show, hay and wagon rides, kid’s activities, farm petting zoo, and much more! New this year is a feedsack installation in the E-15 homestead, more farm animals and kid’s activities, and historic selfies with vintage dress ups.

See a full schedule of events below and visit newdealfestival.org for more information.


Roads close at 8 am

10 am

  • Flag ceremony
  • Gates open
  • Outdoor Craft Market opens
  • AHI Craft Shop in Center Hall complex open
  • Arthurdale Co-Op Store in Esso station open
  • Antique Car, Truck, & Tractor Show registration begins
  • Museum Buildings & Exhibit open

10:30 am

  • MUSIC: 18 Strings
  • FOOD: Center Hall and Lawn Food Lines open
  • Kids Activities & Farm Zoo opens

11 am

11:30 am

  • Welcome from Eleanor Roosevelt


1:30 pm

3 pm

3:30 pm

  • Last horse drawn wagon ride begins

5:00 pm

  • Festival Concludes

Quilt documentation comes to Arthurdale

Save the story of your family quilts or other ones that you cherish. 

The WV Quilt Documentation Project is recording the history of quilts made in—or currently residing in—West Virginia.
A documentation day is being held at the Arthurdale Inn (now WV Caring offices) on July 8 during the New Deal Festival–this FREE event does not require a New Deal Festival pass. During the free event, trained volunteers will examine and photograph quilts plus collect details of the quilt and its maker. Even if the maker is unknown, quilts still have many stories to tell!

It will be in the original Arthurdale Inn (now West Virginia Caring offices) from 10 to 3. Make an appointment with Vicky Graham by calling 304 329-2626 or emailing vlg1959@frontier.com.

Information collected about the quilts will be added to the archives at the WV Division of Culture and History in Charleston. Photographs and some information will be uploaded to a national online database—The Quilt Index—that is used by scholars and educators. Personal information about quilt owners is kept confidential.

For more details, visit the Documentation Page on the WV Quilters, Inc. website at wvquilters.org.