DECEMBER 3, 1936
ARTHURDALE, W.Va.—Last evening my brother and Mrs. Harry Hopkins came to dine with us and after dinner I left them with Miss Hickok, while Mrs. Scheider and I went up to the third floor. Here I have a large closet lined with shelves and drawers where I keep all my Christmas purchases and spend many hours wrapping packages and marking them in preparation for Christmas day.
I left Washington on the midnight train for Fairmont, West Virginia where we got off at 8:30 this morning. Mr. Glen Work met us and took us to breakfast with his family. After breakfast Patty, my youngest hostess, aged six, asked me to stop at her school for a few minutes and from there I went straight to Arthurdale. It is more than six months since I was here last and then summer was on its way, while now the trees have last their leaves and winter will soon be with us to stay. We were greeted by rain and the roads were covered with snow which had become rather icy slush.
I was very much interested to go through the school, meet the new principal and many of the teachers, and finally at luncheon to sit opposite two of the high school boys who are running the Arthurdale newspaper. They were laboriously trying to take down the names of everyone at the lunch table. The president of the Arthurdale Association sat next to me and I was impressed by his cooperative spirit and his interest in all the questions affecting the welfare of the community.
The chicken farm, run by a cooperative, is doing very well. The entire output of eggs is being sold to the state sanitarium at Hopemont not very far away. The homesteaders have done well with their pigs and the dairy cooperative is about to start. They are planning to specialise in Jersey cows procuring cream which will be salable in Washington. The vacuum cleaner assembly plant is working out well and the manager told me that his workers were proving as skillful as any he had come across in other parts of the country. I visited the craft shop and bought some Christmas presents, lunched at the tea room, which is a new innovation.
The last forty houses, which I have just been through, are delightfully planned and so livable that I would like to have one! Such houses as I had an opportunity to stop in today looked comfortable and homelike. On the whole, I think that Arthurdale is becoming a community, able to work out its own problems and to find a satisfactory solution for them which may be helpful in other parts of the country.