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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


Mary Behner was soon joined by others. The Quakers opened a factory where unemployed miners made what were called “God-love chairs.”

Students from West Virginia University taught Sunday school classes and helped serve free meals. Then in 1933, a woman who had bought a God-love chair arrived. She met with Mary Behner, visited several families and saw conditions in the camps for herself. The next day, Eleanor Roosevelt returned to Washington and told her husband that something had to be done about Scotts Run.

Jerry Bruce Thomas: She was convinced that what needed to be done was to take these excess people out of the mines at Scotts Run and find some way to give them a livelihood where they could work at something different and get out of this completely dead-end situation they were in. Let’s take these people and put them on the land and let them be farmers. If they can’t earn enough by farming then let’s bring in some manufacturing. Out of that, I think, was born the idea of Arthurdale.

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