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The Arthurdale Cemetery is the last remaining homestead cooperative of the dozen that were established within this community. Other cooperatives included the general store, barber shop, furniture factory, loom room (used for weaving and spinning), and the dairy farm which once sat behind the WVU farm fence that you can see in the distance. These associations were cooperatively owned and managed by the homesteaders. Drive around the cemetery to get to the next location.

Cemetery Today

Sky, Tree, Plant, Flag

Cemetery Today

Plant, Sky, Tree, Land lot

The Arthurdale Association was a homesteader-run co-operative that helped to fund the various business ventures in Arthurdale in order to provide employment for the homesteaders. Founded in 1934, the association provided jobs and services for the community, and though private industry jobs proved hard to come by, employment in these craft and agricultural co-ops meant that “there was more employment in Arthurdale than in Reedsville and Masontown put together” according to homesteader Annabelle Mayor (Hoffman 75).

Some of the first Co-ops established included the health clinic, the barbershop, and the general store. The furniture-making co-op, part of the Arthurdale branch of the Mountaineer Craftsman’s Cooperative, had very close ties to Mrs. Roosevelt, who had a small furniture company on the grounds of her Hyde Park estate in Val-Kill, New York. Master chairmaker, Bud Godlove, was also brought in to train Arthurdale workers in creating some of these wooden works of art. 

The Arthurdale Association sometimes faced financial difficulties, particularly because the high-quality work produced in Arthurdale was considered a luxury good in the Depression. Despite this, the jobs and services provided by the co-op helped foster a community spirit and work ethic. Most of the co-ops closed in the late 20th century after the government project ended, and today the cemetery is the only one remaining.

Arthurdale Heritage, Preserving Arthurdale, WV – Eleanor Roosevelt's New Deal Community. Arthurdale Heritage Inc.. Accessed March 20, 2017.

Haid, Stephen Edward. "Arthurdale: An Experiment in Community Planning, 1933-1947." Master's thesis, West Virginia University, 1975.

Hoffman, Nancy. Eleanor Roosevelt and the Arthurdale Experiment. Linnet Books, 2001.

Maloney, C. J. Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDRs New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

Patterson, Stuart. “A New Pattern of Life: The Public Past and Present of Two New Deal Communities.” Doctoral Thesis, Emory University, 2006.

Penix, Amanda Griffith. Images of America: Arthurdale. Arcadia Publishing, 2007.

Ward, Bryan. A New Deal for America. Arthurdale Heritage Inc., 1995.