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Camp Hoover, two miles upriver, was constructed by the Hoover administration as a Presidential retreat (meeting the President's requirement that it be within 100 miles of the White House only when a new shortcut was built), and was the immediate predecessor of Roosevelt's Shangri-La, later renamed Camp David.

In 1931, cabins 1, 2, 3, and 4 were built by the US Marines as a supplemental facility for members of Hoover’s cabinet. These four cabins were built on private property that was expected to become part of Shenandoah National Park, but was never purchased by the Federal Government.

In 1953, Rapidan Camps, Inc., was formed as a co-op in Grenbelt Maryland to purchase the four cabins. The cooperative had 14 members when it made that initial purchase; each member bought a $100 share.  Cabin 5 was originally a private cabin, but was later bought by Rapidan Camps as well.

The original cabin 5 was completely destroyed in a Fall 1991 blaze due to vandals breaking in and starting an uncontrolled fire, first in the fireplace but which spread to the rest of the cabin. A new cabin 5 was constructed in 1992 in the same architectural style as its predecessor, but several times larger.

The original cabin 1 was destroyed in a summer 2005 fire of unknown cause. We hired a contractor to complete the foundation and framing, and membership completed the project in 2007.

The membership of Rapidan Camps now consists of approximately 100 families, mostly from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

If you would like a copy of our history prepared by Treasurer David Heiby for our fifth anniversary, please contact Tom Jones at the address at the bottom of the page.

Much more detail about the history of Hoover’s camp, including our cabins, is available on Wikipedia.

 
For questions about Rapidan Camps, please contact JD Foster, President of Rapidan Camps at jdfoster1@cox.net.