The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia recently launched its WV Historic New Deal Trail website at https://wvnewdealtrail.com/. This website and other promotional materials were made possible from a West Virginia Humanities Council mini-grant. The trail originally was developed through a partnership between PAWV and the West Virginia Historic Preservation Office as part of a Preserve America Treasures Grant. Paper and former website materials were obsolete and led to PAWV creating this website and promotional rack card to be distributed statewide and regionally.
This website is a work in progress, and we believe there are more sites to be added to the site. If you are interested in having your site added to the website or have suggestions about content updates, contact Danielle Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Deal in West Virginia:
President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal programs to revitalize the nation’s economy during the Great Depression. Recreation and infrastructure projects provided employment opportunities. Begun in 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), commonly called the “Tree Army,” focused on reforestation and recreation projects. More than 55,000 West Virginia men were enrolled in the CCC and the state had more than 65 camps. Generally, CCC camps held a complement of 150-200 men housed in Army-style barracks. Enrollees were paid $30.00/month with $25.00 sent to the families and $5.00 for personal use.
The second wave of New Deal programs began in 1935 and included the Works Progress Administration (WPA); it became the largest New Deal agency. The WPA built and improved city and county infrastructures such as roads, sewer systems, bridge building and municipal buildings. The WPA was also responsible for many arts, drama, media and literacy projects. Evidence of federally sponsored activities such as the Writer’s program, photography of the Great Depression in Appalachia, as well as post office murals and other arts programs are found throughout WV.
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