Tygart Valley Homestead Celebrates 75th Birthday

Jun 26, 2015

The Tygart Valley Homestead Community in Randolph County is celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend. The Roosevelt Administration built the town of Dailey during the Great Depression to give out-of-work West Virginians a second chance. But the community is now struggling to hold on to that history and to their school building.

During the 1930s, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was personally very devoted to the resettlement communities that were built across the country. She visited Arthurdale in Preston County and the Tygart Valley Homestead.

The vision for these Resettlement communities was to offer work and housing to hard working white Americans who were victims of the Great Depression. Residents had to apply to be offered a job and relocate their families to a resettlement community. No African Americans were selected for the communities.

And the Tygart Valley Homestead was perhaps one of the most successful of the Resettlement communities.

Tygart Valley Homestead School
Credit Dan Schultz/ Traveling 219

To celebrate its 75th anniversary this weekend, an Eleanor Roosevelt impersonator will travel to the homestead school.

Sonny Knaggs is organizing the celebrations, which begin Friday evening and continue into Sunday afternoon. Although the main purpose of the events will be to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the homestead, Knaggs says the local Tygart Valley Homestead Association is worried about whether the historic school, once visited by Eleanor Roosevelt, will be able to remain in operation. Repairs are needed, including a new roof and electrical upgrades. The future of the school, which teaches 145 kids, Kindergarten through 5th grade, will be discussed this weekend.