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Celebrating 75 years at Cacapon State Park,
June 29 and 30, 2012
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. – On July 1, 1937, West Virginia dedicated a new state park. Cacapon was the result of work by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), SP-4, Camp Morgan, Company 1523. Camp Morgan was active from Oct. 4, 1934 until July 14, 1941. The CCC camp was located in what is now the main picnic area at today’s resort park. The enrollees in Camp Morgan built log rental cabins, a beach house, stables, and other recreational facilities as well as the 12-room Old Inn, considered the first West Virginia state park lodge.
Seventy-five years later, Cacapon continues to serve the public and is celebrating June 29 and 30 with activities and entertainment. “The activities commemorate our 75-year history by inviting friends and families to enjoy the park,” said Park Superintendent Tom Ambrose. The activities are free to attend. The park is offering Diamond Jubilee rates on lodge and cabins rentals throughout the summer as well as golf play options. Swimming and boating at Cacapon on Saturday June 30 will be 75 cents per person.
Cacapon Resort State Park is located in Morgan County in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Near Berkeley Springs, the park features cabin, lodge, restaurant, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, riding stables, lake swimming, nature center and studies, conference facilities, and more. Cacapon is open year round. Park information is posted on www.cacaponresort.com or by calling 304-258-1022.
Friday, June 29
10 a.m. 75 years and Beyond…on the Ridge Trail
Join park naturalist Renee Fincham and explore the natural landscape and beautiful views of the Ridge Trail. Meet at the Nature Center for this 1 ½ mile hike on varied terrain. (1 hour)
4 p.m. Camp Morgan History Stroll
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) SP-4, Camp Morgan, Company 1523, helped build many of the structures at Cacapon. Meet the naturalist at the Nature Center to learn more about the Civilian Conservation Corps and their impact on this area. (1 hour)
8:30 p.m. “Diamonds in the Sky”
Kevin Boles, president of the Morgan County Observatory, will greet attendees at the Old Inn to celebrate Cacapon’s Diamond year by viewing the stars over Cacapon. A show and tell about what's up in the night sky is planned. (1 1/2 hours)
Saturday, June 30
8 a.m. Morning Melodies
Joshua Vance, wildlife manager at Shannondale Springs Wildlife Management Area, will lead a walk around the picnic area and lake searching for the birds that make the sweet melodies. Meet at the Cacapon Nature Center to enjoy a morning bird walk. (2 hours)
1 p.m. Cacapon State Park History
3 p.m. History of the West Virginia State Parks & the CCC
Robert Beanblossom, district administrator with West Virginia State Parks, spent his lifetime studying and writing about the West Virginia State Parks system. His presentation will cover the Civilian Conservation Corps contribution to West Virginia and the initial development of the state parks system. (1 Hour)
5:30 p.m. Cacapon Hay Rides
Hay rides will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. Rides last about 20-25 minutes and will leave on the half hour. The ride is free and sign up is at the Nature Center.
7 - 9 p.m. “Concert in the Park” - The Stevens Family
The Stevens Family is a high energy bluegrass band with roots in the traditional realm but which also has the ability to infringe into the contemporary area of bluegrass with a pleasant appeal to the ears. Two of their songs on their "Memories of Home" CD were awarded the number two and three spots for the most requested gospel songs in Eastern Pennsylvania for the year 2007. From the Berkeley Springs area, The Stevens Family concert will be at Cacapon Lodge.
7:30 pm “Wings Of Wonder”
Owls, hawks and eagles! Three Rivers Avian Center will present live birds of prey. The presentation will be at the Old Inn and is open to the public.
9:30 p.m. Fireworks!
There’s no better way to celebrate Cacapon’s 75th anniversary than with fireworks! The half hour salute to Cacapon will begin at 9:30 and in the event of rain, will be rescheduled for July 1. Fireworks are sponsored by the Cacapon Foundation and the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce. There is no charge to attend.
*Chocolate Chip and Hawaiian Punch History
The chocolate chip cookie was created in 1937, the same year as the opening of Cacapon State Park. The chocolate chip cookie was originally known as the Toll House Cookie, named after the Toll House Inn, where it was created by Ms. Ruth Graves Wakefield. Ms. Wakefield was making regular chocolate cookies when she ran out of normal baker’s chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of a bar of semi-sweet chocolate for the baker’s chocolate, assuming that the pieces would melt and spread throughout the cookie like baker’s chocolate would. However, the pieces didn’t melt, and much to her surprise, the chocolate chip cookie was born. The chocolate chip cookie (then the Toll House Cookie) became enormously popular at the Toll House Inn, and after Ms. Wakefield gave Nestle the right to print her recipe, the chocolate chip cookie became the American baking staple it is today. The recipe is still printed on the Nestle chocolate chip packages.
Hawaiian Punch is a brand of fruit punch, first produced in 1937 as an ice-cream topping, but later developed into a soft drink.