Step Back in Time at Arthurdale Heritage’s New Deal Festival

Arthurdale Heritage’s New Deal Festival is giving people of all ages a chance to step back in time as America and Arthurdale go to war in 1942. The festival begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 14th and features artisan demonstrations, historic reenactments, museum tours, craft market, antique car, truck, and tractor show, quilt show, supervised kids area with games and activities, and much more.

“This year, our focus is on Arthurdale’s contributions to America’s war effort in 1942. Many people don’t know how active Arthurdale was on the home front. The festival is not only fun but also shows life in the 1930s and ‘40s and explores the interwoven history of Arthurdale, the New Deal and World War II,” said Jeanne Goodman, Arthurdale Heritage Executive Director.

New to the festival is the Traveling 219 exhibit. This exhibit picks up on the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary Soul of a People and offers a candid snapshot of rural West Virginia during the Great Depression and the early days of World War II. Besides showing one-of-a-kind photographs and artifacts, you can listen to stories about Eleanor Roosevelt’s travels through West Virginia. Many items in this exhibit have never been on public display.

There are expanded historic reenactments and an authentic World War II military encampment as well as recruiting station. Also there are additions to the Fratkin Collection. Housed in the New Deal Homestead Museum, the items are on loan from Robert & Susan Fratkin and feature original FDR campaign posters, Civilian Conservation Corps badges, National Recovery Act posters, and much more. The Fratkin Collection provides a special opportunity to see rare objects that cannot usually be seen locally.

One of the most popular events at the New Deal Festival is the antique car, truck, and tractor show. Check under the hood of some of Detroit’s classiest machines from the 1920s all the way to hot-rods and muscle cars from the 1960s and ‘70s. The show, hosted by the Arthurdale Tire Kickers Club, also features antique tractors, including a restored tractor manufactured at the Reedsville Co-Op Tractor Factory.

Youngsters can enjoy games and activities geared especially for them in the festival’s supervised kids’ area. This year, kids can get up close with hawks, eagles, and owls from the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center. They can also play old fashioned games like marbles and stop by the little red barn to visit Turbo the “toy” pig, horses, goats, calves, and other livestock.

Tour options allow a closer look at Eleanor Roosevelt’s Little Village. Climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon and explore the Arthurdale community. Or opt for an old-fashioned hay ride. Tickets for these specialty tours can be purchased at the information booth the day of the event.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Purchase your festival tickets in advance and save. Online tickets are $5.00 per adult, $3.00 per child 6-11. At the gate, admission is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. Parking is free. Advance tickets can be purchased online at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.