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When President Herbert Hoover wanted to escape Washington’s steamy summers, he headed to Rapidan Camp, in Shenandoah National Park, where he rode horses, hiked, and fished. The rustic log cabins were built in 1929, right before the stock-market crash. It was a modest setup—which you can now see on a tour (reserve at recreation.gov or 877-444-6777)—and it’s hard to picture Hoover and his wife, Lou, entertaining guests such as Charles Lindbergh there.
The Hoovers paid for the building and upkeep and, on leaving office, donated the property to the state. President Hoover’s successor, Franklin Roosevelt, couldn’t navigate the rugged terrain and instead established Camp David as the country’s official presidential retreat.
This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Washingtonian.