ARTHURDALE, W.Va. — If you were a West Virginia coal miner, life was especially hard in the early 1930s. The Great Depression had pulled the bottom out of the coal market, and there were no jobs to be found anywhere in the region.
When Eleanor Roosevelt visited a friend in Morgantown, she saw the terrible conditions in which out of work mining families were living and determined to do something about it. She began to plan and to prod her husband Franklin. In 1934, the first New Deal town was begun on 600 acres of farmland near Reedsville. It was eventually named Arthurdale after the man from whom the property was purchased.
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