Remembering President Hoover’s Speech in Madison 85 Years Later

August 16, 2014

On August 17, 1929 President Herbert Hoover and his wife made a stop in Madison, Virginia to meet with the people in the town.

They were in awe by the land and agriculture and wanted to make Madison a part of their home. In doing so they created a retreat called Rapidan Camp, a place where they could get away from all of the pressures of the white house.

“In 1929 there was no disconnect of phones, but even then there were pressures and getting out to a pretty place, to a place where it's quiet, streams to ripple and to go fishing is a good reflection of what's important in life,” says Ernie Hoch, Madison County administrator.

On Saturday afternoon people gathered where President Hoover gave his speech 85 years ago to take part in a re-enactment

“It's about the history of Madison,” says Hoch. “It's about an important person who shared his life here and touched a lot of people in Madison.”

The event brought back memories of stories parents told to their children about the president spending time in their town.

“I'm really honored because my great grandfather, my grandfather and my dad were all raised on the Rapidan River and were neighbors to the Hoovers,” says Nancy Knighting, who portrayed Mrs. Hoover during the event. “The Hoovers even came and ate with them sometimes, so I felt very honored to be asked to play that part.”

Alfred Hawkins was one when the president delivered his speech and he's happy that his sons and grandchildren are able to hear it with him 85 years later.

“I can remember the president going up to his retreat and him and his wife were in a convertible open top car with two motorcycle policeman in the front and two in the back,” says Hawkins. “They were way back because of the dust coming up in their face, but I can remember that.”

Along with the re-creation of the speech, local farmers were able to showcase and sell some of their goods...reminding people of all the agriculture Madison County has to offer.

This is the first time that the speech was re-enacted in the same spot that President Hoover gave the address back in 1929, and they hope to continue the tradition.

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