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Jul 21, 2009 10:02 pm

The New Deal - Live and In Person!!!!

The West Virginia town of Arthurdale sits on a plateau 1,800 or so feet above sea level, nestled comfortably high and isolated among the Appalachian Plateau of Preston County. Like almost every small American town it is virtually unknown to all but the few who either live or have lived within her borders. There is nothing unusual in that – except in this case there is.

For a time from the initial birth of the town in 1934, Arthurdale was the epicenter of the New Deal, the Roosevelt Administration’s showpiece for what could be done for the common man. It was the first and most lavishly appointed of all the Subsistence Homesteads, a rather small New Deal program with the big goal of redistributing"excess" population from one area to another, the hoped for end result would be a"new American," living a communal life that would be a vast improvement on our country’s traditional individualism.

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Mark Brady - 7/22/2009

Thanks so much for a fascinating account of a town and a New Deal program, of which I was entirely unaware.