Near Syria in Madison County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
"Here is peace and quietude"
“Here is peace and quietude.”
Shortly after his election in 1928, Herbert C. Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry, expressed the desire for a weekend retreat – a place where they could find respite from the demands of Washington life and be rejuvenated by “the blessings of nature.”
Here among the trees and trout streams they established their rustic summer camp.
In the years since the Hoovers left Washington, Rapidan Camp has undergone many changes, the most drastic in the early 1960s when 10 of the 13 original buildings were removed.
In 1928, a dense canopy of trees covered the area. The shade provided the much cooler temperatures the Hoovers sought in the days before air-conditioning. The canopy was dominated by old-growth Eastern Hemlocks that were killed by an evasive insect, the hemlock woolly adalgid. Shenandoah National Park is working to save the remaining few hemlocks and restore character and beauty of the Hoover-era Rapidan Camp.
Today visitors can see an exhibit in the Prime Minister’s cabin and tour the president’s
The Hoovers’ first night at camp was May 18, 1929. The presidential accommodations were five brown army tents on wooden floors. Despite later becoming a solid-sided building, the name “Five Tents” stuck.
Mrs. Hoover’s original instructions called for “good board flooring and a roof, with a boarded strip extending up from the floor perhaps three or four feet, with sides composed of canvas curtains that let up and down.” However, the Hoovers quickly became fond of the camp and decided to make their “tent village” more permanent, replacing the canvas walls with board siding. By early August the Hoovers were already using the camp for official meetings. Their precious retreat soon became an outdoor extension of the nation’s capital.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #31 Herbert Hoover series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1892.
Location. 38° 29.445′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Syria VA 22743, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Camp Hoover (here, next to this marker); Rapidan Camp (here, next to this marker); Town Hall on Town Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Town Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Famous Town Hall Visitors (within shouting distance of this marker); “Five Tents” (within shouting distance of this marker); Recreational Pursuits (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mess Hall (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Syria.
More about this marker. Several photographs appear on the marker. On the left are a picture of President Hoover and his wife sitting on the porch and a full view of the cabin. On the right are more modern photos showing the President’s cabin as it appears today, and interior photos of the President’s and the Prime Minister’s cabins.
Under the Five Tents section at the bottom of the marker are photos of the Five Tents area at various stages of its development.
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 Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. Biography of Herbert Hoover. The White House website. (Submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.