Sunday, May 13, 2012


In the days before air-conditioning, Mago-Vista Beach in Arnold, MD was one of our summertime getaways. My mother would pack us into the car with a picnic lunch and a one or two additional children from the neighborhood and off we’d go. I don’t remember if we wore our bathing suits or changed when we arrived.  The  friendly, family beach was  pleasantly sandy.  I loved the big silver raft that was anchored not too far from shore. We could wade out to it and jump off into the warm water. There was a dance pavilion that the grown ups used for night time dances. According to a web site devoted to Mago-Vista Mr. Benson began building the resort  on the Magothy River  in 1938. There was an amusement park  and houses to rent. How I wish I could recall seeing that. The image here is from my collection of Maryland ephemera. While I don't remember canoes, I do love the bathing suit on our paddler. Some have told me that the Mago-Vista of our youth is long gone and now, but of course, condominiums have taken its place.


  1. I grew up near Mago Vista. I learned to swim there, jumped off the high dive and rode the roller coaster over the Magothy River! My friend and I spent a lot of time in the pavilion dancing to the jukebox during the day. We were only about 11-12 years old and were the only ones there during the day. It was a wonderful place!!!

  2. I am sitting in one of those condos right now. It is sad that there are so few public beaches in Maryland. I now live in California, and ALL beaches are public (except in military bases).

    Anyway many of the current owners, especially my dad remember the old Mago Vista and work to keep its history alive.

  3. Thanks for this posting, Charlene. This was my favorite family beach growing up. We lived on Dividing Creek Road, and I went to elementary school at Belvedere for a year before Folger McKinsey in Severna Park opened up. I remember my Dad diving from the high dive, and him teaching me to swim in the deeper water out near the floating sliding board (which was such fun!). My parents lived in that same house until 2013, and- yes, it's true that there seem to be absolutely no public beaches in AA Co. anymore. Those were the days! The fifties!