Wednesday, November 17, 2010

POW Camp Gravenhurst

Battle ship in a bottle crafted by an unidentified POW at Gravenhurst

Prisoners of War being paraded from the train to their new home at the Gravenhurst POW Camp

German POW's dress for a play they are performing.

A look at the prisoners compound

More prisoners march under close guard

The old POW site in this town north of Toronto is difficult to find. Either people are embarrassed that German prisoners lived there or they don't know much about the camp or perhaps memories have just become terribly hazy. Some German POW came to Gravenhurst for convalescence. The site is perched on and around rocks on the shore of Pine Lake in Muskoka country.

In 1978 the old concrete pilings of the main building remained in addition to a decrepit guardhouse, a tired, lonely old red fire hydrant amidst the weeds and a desolate pump house by the lake. Old bits of roofing material refused to decompose even after thirty five years of abandonment. In the tall brush, I found a well preserved pieced of canvas fire hose with solid brass fittings, but other than that, memories seem to be few at Gravenhurst. In 1998, no physical evidence remains on site.