Sunday, January 1, 2017

spies among us


I will be careful when choosing a dock to approach when I visit the Corsica River, a place I have passed by in the past and hope to explore in the future.  As the Washington Post and New York Times tell us, the 45 acre compound, featuring two mansions and several bungalows, is alleged to have been used for spying.  No more, as the feds have shut down this and another compound in New York. 


I do remember Rock Hall friends Fred and Mary Lou telling me about a Russian estate on the Chester River, though I never understood exactly where.  Now I know.  I have wanted to visit the Corsica River for a few years now, nearly making it the year before last until an approaching thunderstorm had me turn into Reed Creek for shelter.  Below you see the mansion on the compound with what appears to be a regatta in progress on the Corsica.  And in the distance is the Chester River heading up to Chestertown, one of my favorite place on the bay.  

A late 1980s story in the Washington Post tells of local journalists visiting the compound.  The Russians said they liked the weather, it reminded them of southern Russia.  Plus the fishing was very good.  Boating and "krabiruyu," (crabbing to you and me) being favorite activities.  Local concerns about nuclear submarines surfacing in the Chester to pick up spies and stolen documents proved to be unfounded. 


So I will keep clear of the docks, don't want to mess with either the Russians or the state department or whoever controls the compound now.  But I will look forward to winding my way up the Corsica.  I hear there are some good crab cakes available at a restaurant up there, maybe with a side of caviar and a shot of vodka.

4 comments:

Robert Thompson said...
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Robert Thompson said...

Steve:

Lived for 32 years on the Corsica and saw a lot of the Russians in Centreville all the time. Before the demise of the Soviet Union, we had a 14 man FBI office in a town of 2400 people. I have some great stories of spooky stuff done by our people to get into the compound disguised as repairmen, etc. Also, there were several fires there in the compound but the fire department was not allowed into the compound to fight them because they were in the communications building. It will be a lot quieter now, but I am sure that they will be back sometime in the future. The property was originally owned by John J. Raskob, the financier behind the building of the Empire State Building and senior executive at both Dupont and GM. Enjoy the Corsica, it is one beautiful river.

Bob Thompson

Robert Thompson said...

BTW - the photo of the regatta is the Corsica River Yacht Club annual regatta that was sailed out of the Raskob estate (Pioneer Point). Look closely at the photo and the cars in front of the house. They are vintage 1950's, early '60's so this photo pre-dates the Russians by about 20 years.

Bob

Steve said...

Bob,

Thanks for the additional info. All the Russians and FBI must have added to the local economy. Yes, I kind of figured the aerial view predated the Russians, but boy isn't it a nice view of the two rivers. best wishes

steve