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The Camp David Museum
By: Masha Persanova

The Camp David Museum is opening May 15, 2005 at The Cozy the oldest family owned restaurant in Maryland. It�s not an accidental location the Cozy is located in Thurmont, close to the Catoctin Mountains just six miles from the Presidential Retreat. The unique restaurant and Cozy Inn has hosted Presidents, their families, Presidential Cabinets, Foreign Delegations, Governors and the Press for more than 76 years.

The Museum will be open daily during restaurant hours and special tours for groups will be available. It was owner Jerry Freeze's idea to open this exposition. Mr. Freeze collected numerous pictures, memorabilia and other displays for many years. Various artifacts were given to Mr. Freeze and his father at the Cozy since 1929. Sources included many Press Corps, Presidential Staff members and Foreign Dignitaries. You can see pictures and catch glimpses of presidential country life from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush. Cozy Inn history even extends into its rooms which are named after Presidents: The Kennedy Room, The Reagan Cottage, The Nixon Room among others.

The History of the Presidential mountain retreat is interesting as well. It all started in 1935, when the Work Projects Administration, WPA, began building the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area Project near Thurmont. Three years later, the area opened as a camp for federal government employees and their families. Known as Hi-Catoctin, the camp consisted of several small cabins, a dining hall and a swimming pool. During Roosevelt�s presidency the camp was named Shangri-La after the Tibetan mountain kingdom in James Hilton's novel, Lost Horizon.

President Roosevelt inaugurated Shangri-La with a three-day visit beginning July 18, 1942. Subsequent presidents have made extensive use of the mountain top retreat. President Harry Truman enjoyed Shangri-La because his favorite sport was walking and he spent long hours wandering the mountain trails.

President Dwight Eisenhower changed the name of the retreat to Camp David in 1953 in honor of his grandson, David Eisenhower. John Kennedy and his family visited the camp often especially enjoying the horseback riding. President Richard Nixon had several new buildings built in Camp David. President Gerald Ford rode around Camp David on a snowmobile.

Jimmy Carter liked to spend time fly-fishing in Camp David. President Ronald Reagan spent more time at Camp David than any other president. He enjoyed toiling in the woodworking shop and horseback riding. Nancy Reagan worked on various landscaping improvements and updated decorating in some of the buildings. The first wedding ever performed in Camp David was in 1992 when President George Bush's daughter Dorothy married Bobby Koch. Bill Clinton also visited Camp David quite often during his presidency, so does George W. Bush. Camp David is only 70 miles from Washington DC, it's located on 200 acre property. The Presidential retreat is closed to the public and surrounded by maximum security fencing. Facilities of Camp David include a presidential office and a living quarters, swimming pool, guest cabins, putting green, tennis courts, gymnasium and meeting hall.

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Also see our article about Camp David.

More information about Camp David you can find in the Cozy's new museum, the address is: 103 Frederick Road, Thurmont, MD 21788, tel: 301-271-7373,

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The Camp David Museum
By: Masha Persanova
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