Second World War: Trip to Camp David

Army wife talks about accidentally stumbling onto Camp David during the Second World War.

| Good Old Days

Gasoline and tires were rationed during the Second World War. We seldom used the car except for my husband, an Army officer, who drove to work six days a week at the newly opened Camp Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. 

One Sunday afternoon we decided we would take our small baby and drive around. We were from the south, and wanted to see the beautiful Maryland country with its apple and cherry orchards.

We found a wooded mountain road and drove up it. It ended in a clearing, with some buildings in the woods beyond. Two men stopped our car.

"You are not supposed to be here," one said. "Turn around and go back. This is private property." We apologized and left.

An item in the paper caught my attention the next week. It stated that President Franklin Roosevelt had spent the weekend relaxing at his secret Shangri-la retreat in the Catoctin Mountains.

We had driven into Shangri-la, which is still used by the presidents, but is now called Camp David.

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