We discussed the proposed camp as we explored . . . . Conditions necessitate
- 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 one's 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 Hoovers' 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. Here, among the hemlocks and babbling brooks, the Hoovers endlessly entertained and politicked in an atmosphere of natural quiet and picturesque seclusion.