Famous Travelers: Edison, Ford, Firestone Promote Outdoor Recreation with a President

By Francis Champ Zumbrun

“Imagine a scenario in which an outdoors-loving president takes a sudden weekend leave from the White House to join up with three of the most powerful industrialists in the Western world at a campsite in the mountains of Western Maryland, where they ride horses, shoot rifles, chop wood, and eat and sleep in tents beside a babbling brook.” – Norman Brauer, author of “There to Breathe the Beauty.”

Camp table, 1921

During the week of July 21-27, 1921, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone camped at a site about six miles east of Hancock in Washington County. During the weekend, President Warren G. Harding joined the “vagabonds” — the name the wealthy industrialists gave themselves when they camped together. The 200-acre farm where they made camp was located about one mile north of the National Turnpike along Licking Creek. Today, the campsite lies inside Camp Harding County Park. A plaque memorializes the gathering of these famous campers.

This was not the first time the vagabonds had been in the Old Line State. In 1918, while traveling from their camp site near Greensburg, Pa., to Leadmine, W.Va., the group passed through Garrett County. They stopped to eat lunch at Swallow Falls and purchased supplies in Oakland.

Read More Here:  http://dnr.maryland.gov/feature_stories/FamousTravelersPart2.asp