Mission of the Arden Craft Shop Museum

The mission of the Arden Craft Shop Museum is to collect and exhibit materials and artifacts related to the Ardens, which include the towns of Arden, Ardentown, and Ardencroft. The Arden Craft Shop Museum seeks to educate the community on the Ardens’ history as single-tax communities in addition to how the roles of theater, craftsmanship, art, and other aspects of life have affected the development of the Ardens as a close-knit community.

About the Ardens

The three Ardens, consisting of Arden, Ardentown and Ardencroft, are Single Tax and Arts & Crafts communities. “Single Tax” was an economic theory proposed by Henry George, an American economist and philosopher in the late nineteenth-century. George felt that a land value tax was the most fair and equitable tax and felt that any income tax was unfair by nature. The Ardens also were founded on the ideals of William Morris, as an “Arts and Crafts” community. The Arts & Crafts movement was a reaction against the industrial revolution and valued hand-crafted goods and the incorporation of individualistic design.

Arden, the first community, was founded in 1900 by sculptor Frank Stephens and architect Will Price after an unsuccessful campaign to have all of Delaware switch to the Single Tax. Ardentown would founded in 1922, and Ardencroft in 1950. The Ardens continue to use the Single Tax and to serve as an artist community and have many examples of American Arts & Crafts architecture. Click here to visit the official page of the Village of Arden for more information on the Ardens.

*This website is maintained by the Arden Craft Shop Museum Curator, Kelsey Ransick. She can be reached at ardencraftshopmuseum@gmail.com.