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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stanley in Page County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Rather Biggish Establishment

 
 
A Rather Biggish Establishment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
1. A Rather Biggish Establishment Marker
Inscription.
We discussed the proposed camp as we explored . . . . Conditions necessitate
A Rather
biggish establishment

- Lou Henry Hoover, describing the future Rapidan Camp, 1929

I have discovered that even the work of the government can be improved by leisurely discussions of its problems out under the trees where no bells or callers jar oneís thoughts . . . .
- President Hoover, “Madison County Day” speech, August 1929

From 1929 to 1932, Rapidan Camp,
nestled here in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the headwaters of the Rapidan River, served as a weekend retreat for President Herbert and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover. Just to your right, the Laurel Prong stream winds its way to the river, meeting the Mill Prong stream to form the headwaters of one of the most renowned trout streams in Virginia. It was here that the President and First Lady found respite from the heat and formality of Washington, D.C. Just ahead and to the left is the Brown House, the Hooversí rustic weekend counterpart to their city home, the White House.

The Brown House, this guest house named The Prime Minister, and The Creel, are the only three structures left of the once-extensive establishment that hosted an array of public officials and influential powerbrokers.
A Rather Biggish Establishment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
2. A Rather Biggish Establishment Marker
Here, among the hemlocks and babbling brooks, the Hoovers endlessly entertained and politicked in an atmosphere of natural quiet and picturesque seclusion.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 29.42′ N, 78° 25.202′ W. Marker is in Stanley, Virginia, in Page County. Marker can be reached from Rapidan Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located at Rapidan Camp in Shenandoah National Park, at the end the Rapidan Fire Road. Marker is in this post office area: Stanley VA 22851, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Prime Ministerís Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Mountain Streams in the Camp (a few steps from this marker); Recreational Pursuits (within shouting distance of this marker); Famous Town Hall Visitors (within shouting distance of this marker); Town Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Town Hall on Town Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Presidentís Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Hoover (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Stanley.
 
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains A Map of Camp Rapidan, The Summer Retreat
Marker at Rapidan Camp image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
3. Marker at Rapidan Camp
of The President of the United States, and a smaller Map of the Camp in relation to Washington and Shenandoah National Park. It contains a caption of “Illustrated map of Rapidan Camp by Edward Stone, circa 1930. The Marine Camp and Cabinet Camp (for members of Hooverís cabinet) were off site.” Indicated on the map are the locations of the marker, the 13 original structures, and various streams.

The lower right of the marker contains turnable pages containing photographs and quotes on topics such as The Cabins, The Brown House, and Outdoor Spaces. Included is the text “Though both Hoovers values the restorative powers of nature, they were not averse to improving upon it. After choosing the Rapidan site, they carefully manipulated and enhanced its natural elements – terrain, boulders, water, and plantings. Their greatest natural artifice – Hemlock Run, just to your left – was created by diverting part of Laurel Prong so that its waters flowed through the heart of the camp in cascading layers, forming waterfalls and feeding the stocked trout pond you see in front of you. The Hoovers fed the trout each evening.”
 
Also see . . .
1. President Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover's Rapidan Camp. National Park Service website. (Submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Biography of Herbert Hoover
Marker at the Prime Minister's Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
4. Marker at the Prime Minister's Cabin
. The White House website. (Submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable Places
 
A Rather Biggish Establishment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
5. A Rather Biggish Establishment Marker
The Cabins Page image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
6. The Cabins Page
The Brown House Page image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
7. The Brown House Page
Outdoor Spaces Page image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
8. Outdoor Spaces Page
The Brown House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2011
9. The Brown House
President Herbert Hoover stayed in this cabin while at Rapidan Camp.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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