Friday, November 5, 2010

Aspen Fish Pond

President Nixon with Soviet President Brezhnev 

There is a fish pond located in front of the Aspen Lodge that, according to the Camp David Tour site, was originally built there to use as a water supply in the event of a fire. The site describes how the water is "pumped from the pond to the top of a concrete-lined spillway where it cascades over the rocks and returns to the pond".  The pond was first stocked with rainbow trout at the request of President Eisenhower.

I received an email from someone who took care of the Aspen Pond in the early 1970s. Upon his discharge, he was given the photo of Nixon and Brezhnev signed by President Nixon.  He provided some additional information about the pond:
"In the picture of Nixon and Brezhnev at Aspen fish pond, the fish in there at that time were Japanese Koi and Golden Orfe plus floating water hyacinth and some water lilies. The log in the foreground was cut out as a bench where FDR would sit and fish. The log has been replaced several times because of decay and rot. FDR then was fishing for stocked bass and trout."  

I also came across an anecdote about the Aspen Lodge fish pond written by someone who once lived at Camp David:
In front of Aspen Cabin, the President’s abode at Camp David, is a man-made rock pond, filled with imported, exotic fish. A call was placed to the Camp’s CO:
“Sir, the President is on the line,” said military aide.
“Yes, Sir, Mr. President,” my husband said, “What can I do for you, Mr. Reagan?”
“Well…..,” came the slow, steady voice, “You need to get over here right away, the poor fellas are floating belly up!”

Below are some more photos of the pond.

President Johnson and Ambassadors Ellsworth Bunker and W. Averell Harriman in April 1968;
 CyrusVance, Jody Powell, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Hamilton Jordan in September 1978

                                                                                                                       President Ford in front of the Aspen pond in 1974

September 1978

Google Maps view of the pond in front of the Aspen Lodge

Sources:  Richard Nixon Library; Lyndon Baines Johnson Library; Jimmy Carter Library; Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; Camp David Tour; The New York Times; What A Party; Florida Sportsman Magazine; UPI; Google Maps

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