Old Arthurdale WV High School, Arthurdale , WV



Old Arthurdale WV High School

WV Highway 92

Arthurdale , WV  26520

Established in 1933, by the United States government, Arthurdale, WV, was the nation’s first New Deal Homestead Community. Created through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation, the community provided a new chance at life for residents who were suffering from the Great Depression.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt served as the empathetic force behind the community, which became known as “Eleanor’s Little Village.” Little red one-room schoolhouses were not included in the plans for the New Deal subsistence homestead project in Arthurdale that had 165 homes.  Instead, six white multi-room schools were built adjacent to W.Va. 92 in the early 1930s to educate the children of homesteaders. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was involved in planning for the schools and received help with the design for the schools from the WVU College of Education. Arthurdale’s students were fortunate to have such schools and the opportunities they provided during the Great Depression. Nationwide, by 1934, over 2.3 million students were not as lucky. More than 2,000 schools had closed or shortened their instructional terms and around 200,000 teachers lost their jobs.

Mrs. Roosevelt had discussed the opportunity to use progressive education methods in the new schools with Elsie Ripley Clapp, who had worked with renowned American educator and philosopher John Dewey and valued the chance to utilize hands-on practical learning methods as part of the federal project.  Clapp was hired as the principal and director of community affairs for the Arthurdale schools from 1934 to 1936.  There were a number of unusual aspects about the schools, including a nursery school for children aged 3 to 5 (with instruction for the mothers on child care and health information) and a building for pottery classes and a kiln. Both male and female students learned weaving. There was a greenhouse for the growing of plants. Plus, adults could take night classes in English, practical math and farm accounting.  Initially, the graduating classes were small because all of the homes were not finished until 1937. The Class of 1935 contained three students, as did the classes of 1936 and 1937. Mrs. Roosevelt attended those and later commencements to pass out the diplomas to the graduates and to attend community events. She also used those visits to monitor the progress of the project. The schools were taken over by the Preston County Board of Education in 1937. Additionally, in May 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Arthurdale to give the commencement speech, the only high school commencement address of his Presidency.

By the late 1930s, Arthurdale had lost support in much of Washington, and even though Eleanor Roosevelt had chosen it as her pet project, she could not dissuade Congress and the president’s cabinet from abandoning it. Mrs. Roosevelt herself was “deeply disillusioned” by a visit to the community in 1940, in which she observed that the community had become increasingly dependent on government and lacking in independent initiative. The federal government liquidated its holdings in Arthurdale in 1947; all homes and community buildings were sold to private ownership.  Two of the original Arthurdale school buildings were used as factories during World War II and later as chicken houses by Ruby Enterprises. Those buildings have been demolished. Four of the schools remain. From 1936 to 2000, the four were under the control of the Preston County Board of Education and used as a middle school and elementary school. In 1984, the community celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its homesteading. This celebration resulted in the establishment of Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., whose mission is to preserve the historic community of Arthurdale.  In 2000, the PCBOE transferred the high school, cafeteria, and elementary school buildings to Arthurdale Heritage. A Save America’s Treasurers grant completed in 2006 provided for stabilization and mothballing of the buildings until the complete restoration of the buildings can take place. The Arthurdale Gym is still being used by Valley Elementary.

Today, Arthurdale is a National Historic District featuring 160 of the 165 original homesteads, encompassing 147 contributing buildings, one contributing structure, and one contributing site. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.  As a historic district, it is significant because at the time of its listing, all 165 houses were extant, as well as the Inn, four of the six factories, the pottery, well house, cemeteries, most of the community center buildings, and the original road system and parking lot.  The New Deal Homestead Museum is a multibuilding museum comprised of a forge filled with original tools, a service station reminiscent of a bygone era, the historic Center Hall, the original federal government administration building and a fully restored Arthurdale homestead.  The Craft Shop specializes in Appalachian crafts and quality gifts.

Charles Martin Loeffler and A Pagan Poem


Charles Martin Tornov Loeffler (January 30, 1861 – May 19, 1935) was a German-born American violinist and composer.  Loeffler claimed throughout his career to have been born in Mulhouse, Alsace, and almost all music encyclopedias give this information, but in fact, his biographer Ellen Knight has established, he was German—indeed a Prussian, and a Berliner on both sides of his family, born Martin Karl Löffler in Schöneberg near Berlin, Germany, on January 30, 1861. He turned against Germany when the Prussian authorities imprisoned his father, an agricultural chemist and author of Republican ideals. (Loeffler senior wrote journalism under the name ‘Tornov’ or ‘Tornow,’ and his son sometimes used this as one of his middle names.) Before his father’s arrest the family had moved around a good deal, including a period in Alsace, and then to Smila near Kiev in the Ukraine, while Loeffler was still a small child. Soon thereafter the family moved to Debrecen, in Hungary, where father taught at the Royal Academy of Agriculture.  Later they lived in Switzerland.

Loeffler was only about 12 when his father was sent to prison, where the man died of stroke before he was to be released.   Loeffler decided to become a violinist and studied in Berlin with Joseph Joachim, Friedrich Kiel and Woldemar Bargiel, then with Joseph Massart (and composition with Ernest Guiraud) in Paris. He played with the Pasdeloup Orchestra and in 1881 emigrated to the United States, where he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and shared the first desk with the concertmaster from 1882 to 1903. Loeffler became a U.S. citizen in 1887.   He first appeared as a violinist-composer with the orchestra in 1891 with the performance of his suite Les Vieilles d’Ukraine, and his works were performed regularly by the Boston Symphony (and by other American orchestra) for the rest of his life.

Loeffler eventually resigned from the orchestra to devote himself to composition. He was a friend of Eugène Ysaÿe, Dennis Miller Bunker, and John Singer Sargent (who painted his portrait), also of Gabriel Fauré and Ferruccio Busoni (both of whom dedicated works to him), and later of George Gershwin. A man of wide culture and refined taste, he developed an idiom deeply influenced by contemporary French and Russian music, in the traditions of César Franck, Ernest Chausson and Claude Debussy, and also by Symbolist and “decadent” literature. Loeffler often cultivated unusual combinations of instruments, and was one of the earliest modern enthusiasts for the viola d’amore, which he discovered in 1894, and wrote parts for in several scores as well as arranging much music for it. In his later years he also, unexpectedly, became deeply interested in jazz, and wrote some works for jazz band.

Loeffler composed the Fantastic Concert for cello and orchestra, which premiered in 1894 with Alwin Schroeder as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Entertainment for violin and orchestra (1895). Loeffler was a fastidious composer who composed carefully, frequently revising his compositions. Some of his works are lost. His best-known works include the symphonic poems La Mort de Tintagiles (after Maeterlinck), La Bonne Chanson (after Verlaine), A Pagan Poem (after Virgil), and Memories of My Childhood (Life in a Russian Village), as well as the song-cycle Five Irish Fantasies (to words by W. B. Yeats and Heffernan), and the chamber works Music for Four String Instruments and Two Rhapsodies for oboe, viola and piano.

Loeffler’s Divertissement for violin and orchestra was premiered in Berlin in 1905 by Karel Halíř, under the baton of Richard Strauss, at the same concert at which Halíř premiered the revised version /of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. Fritz Kreisler and Eugène Ysaÿe had declined to play the Divertissement because of its technical demands.  Loeffler was on the board of directors of the Boston Opera Company when it started operations in 1908. His notable students include Arthur Hartmann, Kay Swift, Samuel Gardner and Francis Judd Cooke, who studied with him for two years in Medfield, Massachusetts. Loeffler died in Medfield on May 19, 1935, at the age of 74.

My CD collection includes the following work by Charles Martin Loeffler:

A Pagan Poem, op. 14

Oak Grove Lutheran Church school house, Danville, PA



Oak Grove Lutheran Church school house

130 Hagenbuch Loop

Danville, Pennsylvania  17821

On June 3, 1869, Jacob Moser and his wife deeded one acre and 81 purchases of land to three trustees of Oak Grove Trinity Lutheran Church near Danville, a borough in and the county seat of Montour County, PA, for $ 400. The cornerstone was laid on June 5, 1869. Services were held in German and English on alternating Sundays. In 1952, renovations included the lower level being dug out. In 1957, the one room school house adjacent to the church was purchased for $700. The basement is currently the kitchen facilities and Sunday School area, and the school house is used for events throughout the year including an annual festival and rummage sale. A pavilion was added to the school house in 2012.

Anatoly Lyadov and Kikimora


Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov or Liadov (May 12, 1855 –August 28, 1914) was a Russian composer, teacher, and conductor.  Lyadov was born in 1855 in St. Petersburg, Russia, into a family of eminent Russian musicians. His grandfather on his father’s side, Nikolai G. Lyadov, was a conductor of Petersburg Philharmonic Society, and his mother Antipova was a pianist.  He was taught informally by his step-father Konstantin Lyadov, chief conductor of the Imperial Opera Company, from 1860 to 1868, and then in 1870 entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory to study piano and violin.

Lyadov soon gave up instrumental study to concentrate on counterpoint and fugue, although he remained a fine pianist. His natural musical talent was highly thought of by, among others, Modest Mussorgsky, and during the 1870s he became associated with the group of composers known as The Mighty Handful. He entered the composition classes of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, but was expelled for absenteeism in 1876. In 1878 he was readmitted to these classes to help him complete his graduation composition.

Lyadov taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1878, his pupils including Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Mikhail Gnesin, Lazare Saminsky and Boris Asafyev.  Consistent with his character, he was a variable but at times brilliant instructor. Conductor Nikolai Malko studied harmony with him at the conservatory.  Igor Stravinsky remarked that Lyadov was as strict with himself as he was with his pupils, writing with great precision and demanding fine attention to detail. Prokofiev recalled that even the most innocent musical innovations drove the conservative Lyadov crazy.  In 1905 he resigned briefly over the dismissal of Rimsky-Korsakov, only to return when Rimsky-Korsakov was reinstated.

Lyadov introduced timber millionaire and philanthropist Mitrofan Belyayev to the music of the teenage Alexander Glazunov.  Interest in Glazunov’s music quickly grew to Belyayev’s patronage of an entire group of Russian nationalist composers.  In 1884 he instituted the Russian Symphony Concerts and established an annual Glinka Prize. The following year he started his own publishing house in Leipzig. He published music by Glazunov, Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin at his own expense.  In addition, young composers appealed for Belyayev’s help.  Belyayev asked Lyadov to serve with Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov on an advisory council to help select from these applicants.  The group of composers that formed eventually became known as the Belyayev Circle.

In November 1887, Lyadov met Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Nearly seven years earlier Tchaikovsky had given a negative opinion to the publisher Besel about a piano arabesque Lyadov had written.  Even before this visit, though, Tchaikovsky’s opinion of Lyadov may have been changing. He had honored Lyadov with a copy of the score of his Manfred Symphony. Now that he had actually met the man face-to-face, the younger composer became “dear Lyadov.” He became a frequent visitor to Lyadov and the rest of the Belyayev Circle, beginning in the winter of 1890.

While Lyadov’s technical facility was highly regarded by his contemporaries, his unreliability stood in the way of his advancement. His published compositions are relatively few due to his natural indolence and a certain self-critical lack of confidence. Many of his works are variations on or arrangements of pre-existing material (for example his Russian Folksongs, Op. 58). He did compose a large number of piano miniatures, of which his Musical Snuffbox of 1893 is perhaps most famous.

Like many of his contemporaries, Lyadov was drawn to intensely Russian subjects. Much of his music is programmatic; for example his tone poems Baba Yaga Op. 56, Kikimora Op. 63, The Enchanted Lake Op. 62. These short tone poems, probably his most popular works, exhibit an exceptional flair for orchestral tone color. In his later compositions he experimented with extended tonality, like his younger contemporary Alexander Scriabin.  It has been argued that Lyadov never completed a large-scale work. However, many of his miniatures have their place in the repertory. In 1905 Lyadov began work on a new ballet score, but when the work failed to progress, he shifted gears to work on an opera instead. Lyadov  never finished the opera, but sections of the work found realization in the short tone poems Ki   kimora and The Enchanted Lake.

In 1909 Sergei Diaghilev commissioned Lyadov to orchestrate a number for the Chopin-based ballet Les Sylphides, and on September 4 that year wrote to the composer asking for a new ballet score for the 1910 season of his Ballets Russes; however, despite the much-repeated story that Lyadov was slow to start composing the work which eventually became The Firebird (famously fulfilled by the then relatively inexperienced Igor Stravinsky), there is no evidence that Lyadov ever accepted the commission.  He had married into money in 1884, acquiring through his marriage a country property, Polynovka estate, at Borovichevsky in Novgorod Governorate, where he spent his summers composing unhurriedly, and where he died on August 28, 1914.

The following works by Anatoly Lyadov are contained in my CD collection:

About Olden Times, Ballad for Orchestra, op. 21b.

Baba Yaga, Music Picture on Russian Folk Tale, op. 56.

Dance of the Amazon, op. 65 (from Three Late Pieces).

Doleful Song, op. 67(from Three Late Pieces).

Eight Russian Folk Songs for Orchestra, op. 58.

The Enchanted Lake, Fairy Tale Picture, op. 62.

First Scherzo for Orchestra.

From the Apocalypse, Symphonic Tableau, op. 66 (from Three Late Pieces).

Kikimora, Folk Tale, op. 63.

Polonaise in CM in Memory of A. S. Pushkin, op. 49.

Designed for Communication

Designed for Communication
by Dr. Carl Wieland

(Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Winter 2010-11 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. WSW.)

People have an incredible drive and ability to communicate with one another. Clever animals such as chimps may make special sounds to warn about the approach of a hungry leopard, for example. But we communicate using language, which sets us apart from all other creatures (Genesis 1:27).

Dominated by the Creator-evading philosophy of our age, researchers have tried hard to narrow the huge “communications gulf” between animals and humans, whom they regard as simply evolved animals. Some chimps have been trained by people to associate words with particular objects, and some have achieved a very basic form of sign language.1

Some birds, though not supposed to be our close evolutionary cousins, are even more clever, despite having relatively much smaller brains than chimps. “Alex,” an African gray parrot, was able to recognize and name some one hundred different objects, as well as their colour, texture, and shape. He could also count up to six.2 But Alex’s remarkable trained talent pales into insignificance next to the built-in abilities his human teacher would have had, even as a very young child.

From an early age, we share information with each other—not just about the objects in the world around us, but about abstract things like thoughts, feelings, and ideas. We can use language to project into the past and future too.

Read more:


Monterey School, Monterey, MA



Monterey School

459 Main Street, Route 23

Monterey, MA 01245

Located on the far eastern end of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District, the Monterey School housed a combined kindergarten and first grade classroom.  Most of the students who attended the Monterey School went on to Undermountain Elementary and/or New Marlborough Central and then on to Mount Everett High School.  In 2017, officials from the Southern Berkshire Regional School District suspended the operations of the Monterey tiny community school.

Lars-Erik Larsson and his Concertinos


Lars-Erik Vilner Larsson (May 15, 1908 – December 27, 1986) was a Swedish composer.  Larsson was born in Åkarp, Sweden, on May 15, 1908, the son of a factory worker and a nurse. He studied with Ellberg at the Stockholm Conservatory (1925–1929) and with Alban Berg and Fritz Reuter in Vienna and Leipzig (1929–1930), then worked for Swedish Radio and taught at the Stockholm Conservatory (1947–1959) and Uppsala University where he held the position as Director musices (1961–1966).

Larsson’s style as a composer was eclectic, ranging from the late Romantic to techniques derived from Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-note system, but original in method. He was the first Swede to write serial music (1932). Yet other works of that period are post-Sibelian or neo-classical, and his output generally is characterized by variety of style. He wrote for the theatre, cinema and broadcasting, in addition to the more traditional forms of symphony, concerto, chamber, and vocal music.

Larsson wrote two of the most popular works in Swedish art music. One is the Pastoral Suite (Pastoralsvit), for chamber orchestra, Op. 19 (1938).  The other is A God in Disguise (Förklädd gud), a non-religious lyrical suite for mixed chorus, soloists, and orchestra, Op. 24 (1940) with text written by Malmö poet Hjalmar Gullberg.  Larsson’s most important symphonic works are his three symphonies for full orchestra.  Larsson also wrote a Sinfonietta for string orchestra and a popular Little Serenade for the same medium.

Larsson wrote a series of 12 concertinos for solo instruments: flute, saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano.  His Concerto for alto saxophone, written for Sigurd Raschèr in 1934, is one of the first major works for saxophone to utilize ideas of non-standard tonality.  The Violin Concerto, Op. 42 (1952) is another important work, as is the opera Prinsessan av Cypern.  Larsson died of diabetes complications in Helsingborg, Sweden, on December 27, 1986, aged 78.

My CD collection includes the following work by Lars-Erik Larsson:

Concertino for Violin and String Orchestra, op. 45 no. 8.

Concertino for Viola and String Orchestra, op. 45 no. 9.

Concertino for Cello and String Orchestra, op. 45 no. 10.

Concertino for Double Bass and String Orchestra, op. 45 no. 11.

Concertino for Piano and String Orchestra, op. 45 no. 12.