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Herbert and Lou Hoover Relax at Rapidan Camp

In this photograph, President Herbert Hoover and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover relax on the porch of their cabin at Rapidan Camp. In the summer of 1929, President Hoover purchased and developed a 164-acre campsite in Madison County, Virginia, so that it could serve as a presidential country retreat by trout season the following spring. The camp included 13 cabins designed by James Yardley Rippin, a friend of the Hoovers, who also had also designed cabins for the Girl Scouts. The cabin where the Hoovers resided was called the Brown House, in contrast to their more famous abode in Washington, D.C., and featured a simple yet spacious 60-foot-long central living space. President Hoover donated Rapidan Camp to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1932 as a country retreat for future presidents. However, Hoover's polio-stricken successor President Franklin D. Roosevelt had difficulty navigating the demanding terrain, and established his own country retreat, which later became the preferred presidential retreat Camp David. Rapidan Camp and its surrounding woodlands were integrated into Shendanoah National Park when it was formally established on December 26, 1935. Under the management of the National Park Service, the Brown House was refurnished to its 1929 appearance, and made accessible to the public through guided tours.
Date of Work
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum/NARA