Spring Camp on the Nipissing River - 1979
A Prisoner of War Camp in Algonquin Park
Spring Camp is located on the Nipissing River in Algonquin Park along the 390m portage downstream of Graham's Dam and upstream of High Falls. (Military map reference 17TPL 735 848 (NAD83)). It comprises a collection of decaying log structures that are now being reclaimed by the forest.
According to Donald Lloyd, Spring Camp served as a work camp for German prisoners of war during WW II. Lloyd also relates that in 1945, the prisoners were gone, but a caretaker was still there and that the caretaker died in the granary.
Ralph Bice, does not mention this camp in his description of his trip down the river in 1923. However in describing a trip down the river in 1956, he says of this location (in the context of lamenting the deterioration of the logging dams):
Next morning we again found another portage where there had been plenty of water, and on a hill where there had been a fine stand of pine trees was a large group of empty buildings. This had once been a lumber camp, and was later used to hold quite a number of prisoners of war, who had been sent to work in the woods.
Doug Mackey (Heritage Perspectives) talks of a POW camp in Algonquin Park in Paxton Township known as Camp 10. While the headwaters of the Nipissing River are in and around Paxton Township, Mackey is describing a different camp.
When we traveled down the Nipissing River in 1979, we passed through Spring Camp and took several photographs. These are reproduced here.
Ralph Bice (1980), Along the Trail with Ralph Bice in Algonquin Park, Consolidated Amethyst.
Donald L. Lloyd (2000); Canoeing Algonquin Park, Published by D.L. Lloyd. Distributed by Hushion House Publishing Ltd. Toronto.