New Deal Festival

By Candace Nelson - 10:00 AM

New Deal FestivalI attended the New Deal Festival a few weeks ago in Arthurdale. It is held annually on the second Saturday in July to celebrate the nation's first New Deal Subsistence Homestead Community of Arthurdale.

New Deal FestivalNew Deal Festival

According to Wikipedia:

Arthurdale was founded in 1933 and was the first of many New Deal planned communities established under Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was intended to take impoverished laborers, farmers, and coal miners and move them to a modern rural community that would allow them to become economically self-sufficient.

The idea for such a self-sufficient community originated when Eleanor Roosevelt learned through her friend, Lorena Hickok, of a plan to relocate a group of West Virginia coal miners to a nearby farm with the intention that they could combine subsistence farming with simple industries to reclaim their economic footing. Mrs. Roosevelt was so passionate about the concept that she brought it to the attention of her husband, who decided to place the project under the direction of the United States Department of the Interior.

New Deal Festival

The festival features artisan demonstrations, a craft market, children's activities and tours of the museum and other Arthurdale buildings.

New Deal FestivalThey had a dining hall, which was serving up pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs, fries, baked beans, cole slaw, desserts and drinks. We didn't stick around to eat here, but we did look through all the vendors. And I finally got to see some of the products from the Mountaineer Country Farmers Consignment Market.

New Deal FestivalThis place has always been a sort of mystery to me. They're a farmers market but via consignment. And they used to have store hours, but they now just visit the Ruby hospital on Wednesdays and the Arthurdale Co-Op Store on Thursdays. There were some fresh berries, plus tons of jams and jellies for sale. So, a nice little event and I'm glad to finally see what the farm market is all about.

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