New Hampshire Missing Places: Spring Valley Campground, near Lake Massabesic–Manchester

Photograph of Spring Valley Camp near Lake Massabesic, NH from The Union: Manchester N.H. Tuesday July 4, 1911, page 10

An intriguing story on the front page of a 1911 Manchester (New Hampshire) Union newspaper caught my eye. “Living Out At Spring Valley” boasted the headline, “Picturesque Camp Not Far From Lake Massabesic, Colony Increasing Yearly.”

There is, of course, a Spring Valley Brook that connects with Lake Massabesic somewhere around the picnic table area at Front Park, crossing the road and then weaving like a snake west and northwest, crossing Candia Road, splitting into two branches and continuing. In this same vicinity at Candia Road can be found Spring Valley Street. This is probably the general vicinity of the campground in my story.

Map snippet showing location of Spring Valley Brook, Spring Valley Street, in relation to Lake Massabesic. Google Maps.

Continuing with the newspaper article–the sub-headline read: Cluster of Tents on Forest’s Edge– Pleasant Neighbors, Pure Air and Fine Water Prove Drawing Card– Social Visit by Two Members of Union Staff.

“The first evidences of the warm day were beginning to manifest themselves when we hopped off the electric on the Massabesic lake line, at the sign of “Spring Valley,” and rambled through the gate, up the grassy slope and in the pasture beyond. All was quiet in the camp, although the clothes flapping on the line and the clatter of a dishpan nearby indicated that some of the inhabitants were about and doing. We had heard a lot about the Spring Valley campers; what a model neighbor everyone there was; how pure the air was; how fine the water; of the pleasures of a night’s rest beneath the pines, and had come to literally “take” the place unawares. My friend, the photographer, had along his best camera, a huge box of plates and was ready for anything that might have happened.

Joseph Zing was one of the Spring Valley campers. He was a Manchester NH resident. Born in France, he immigrated to the United States, became a naturalized citizen. He eventually moved to Nashua, where his son Adrian Zing a noteworthy musician was born.

We proceeded along leisurely seeking a point of vantage from which to assure a general view of the main camp of tents which sets the stage of the woods and just beyond. There was no doubt but that Spring Valley was a beautiful site for a summer camp, now that we had actually seen the shady nooks in the depths of the wood and had felt the refreshing breeze that told us, in the course of an enthusiastic description of life at Spring Valley. “It is better here than at the lakeside, because the children are safe. We can let them ramble off into the field or wood without fear.”

By dint of much coaxing we at least succeeded in getting a group of campers to pose in a neighborhood picture. That is, they said they would pose. Just before we were ready to take the picture one of the ladies asked to be excused for a moment. She disappeared inside a tent nearby and we heard a great rummaging and rattling for a minute or two. After several minutes, during which time we enjoyed ourselves by swatting the pesky fly and mosquito , the woman came back looking for all the world like an invitee to the coronation. She had on a perfect stunning gown, had her hair done up, and in general was “all dressed up.” When the other woman saw this she forthwith decided that she must “do as the Romans do, when in their old home town” and is was only by exercise of much diplomacy and promises of not undue-prominence in the finished pictures that we could induce her to remain seated until the camera man had gotten in his work.

We secured a view of the camp, of Joseph Zing, who lives in the city at 211 Bridge Street, when he is not enjoying out-door life, and snapped Mr. Zing himself while he was assiduously tilling the soil in hopes of raising a goodly crop of green-stuff later. He hospitably offered us a cool draught of Spring Valley water, fresh from the well.

Pictured at Camp Miramichi–Bernard Barry a young man who was later killed during WWI, and his friend, Arthur Henri St. Germaine, a WWI veteran who returned home to work as a typographer for a Manchester newspaper.

Strolling along a woody path and over a rustic bridge, we came to another portion of the camp, to which has been given the euphonious name of ‘Camp Miramichi.” From a tall and slender staff at the front of the cluster of canvas homes, we could see a large American flag flying in the breeze, and the general suggestion of welcomeness was so striking that we decided then and there that that the “oatmeal was fine.” Imagine the feeling of surprise which crept over us when, on further approach, we saw the pole quiver, slowly topple over and fall into the brush with a resounding crash.

Indignant at such treatment of the national banner and curious to ascertain the cause for such an unusual phenomenon, we advanced cautiously. A young man was standing some distance back from the cam a, with arms akimbo and seemingly pondering. A few questions settled all: It was Bernard Barry, the presiding genius of the place, and he was merely doing a job of landscape artistic work. The problem was, where should the flagpole be placed to look the best?

Our friend of the lens and shutter, accustomed to making the beat of things had no trouble in selecting the precise spot where the staff would look the best, and it was forthwith planted with all due ceremony.

This section of the camp is a regular colony, for among the patrons are these: Earl Gothier, Lewis Farmer, Thomas Spaulding, Thomas O’Donnell, Ernest Bourgue, Romeo Gaumont, Arthur St. Germain, Martin Geppner, John Farmer, Fred Buckley, Jerry Shea, Bernard Barry, Daniel McKenna, Edward Freeman, Robert Heath John Madden, Edward Mulligan, Thomas Brooks, Ernest Munzey, Frank Kimball and others.

There are many other such camps scattered back and in through woods, several fo them being provided with floors. A picturesque little stream threads through the heart of the camp and effort affords the wherewith for the washing day, while really excellent water for drinking purposes t is to be gotten from a well beneath a cupola.

We came back to the dust of the city with the song of the breeze still sounding in our ears, and both resolved that if fortune favored we should pass a night at Spring Valley with t its model company and peaceful environment. PETER FINGLE.

—Connections of Spring Valley Campground to NH Residents—

Bernard Bradley Barry

Bernard Bradley Barry is mentioned as one of the Spring Valley campers, and “the presiding genius of the place,” with his photograph being shown above.   He was born 26 Feb 1893 Manchester New Hampshire., son of James M. & Louisa (Murphy) Barry.  When WWI began he was living at 371 Central Street, aged 24, working as a fireman for the City of Manchester.

He was killed in France during World War I.  When the war ended his body was returned to rest in St. Joseph Cemetery.  In his honor the City of Manchester placed a marker on the corner of Lake Ave and Hall Street. [See–Cow Hampshire: Manchester NH World War I Casualty, Bernard B. Barry (1893-1918)].

Arthur Henri St. Germaine (shown pictured with Bernard Barry in front of a tent, above) was born on 13 October 1893 in Quebec Canada, son of Valerian & Azilda (Provencher) St. Germaine.  By 1910 he was living with his family in Manchester NH, living on Lake Street and working as a “Printer’s Devil” for a local newspaper.  He too served during WWI, enlisting on 7 May 1918 and serving overseas in Co. D, 315th Ammunition Train. He survived the war, and was honorably discharged on 16 June 1919.   On 1 June 1926 he married in Manchester NH to Mary Elizabeth Ryan, daughter of John A. & Annie (O’Reilly) Ryan.  By 1930 he was working as a typographer for an “English newspaper, and had a son John Arthur St. Germaine (b 4 April 1928, d. 24 Apr 1990, served in Army during WW2).  Arthur died on 20 Feb 1981 in Manchester NH and is buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery.  His obituary in the Boston Globe newspaper stated he served for a long time as President of the Manchester NH Board of Water Commissioners, and that in addition to his son John (living in North Kingstown RI, he also had a daughter Mrs. Barbara A. Beaudoin of Rockville MD.

Joseph Isidore Zing (whose camp tents are shown in a photograph above,was born 15 March 1877 in Steige, France, son of son of Joseph & Philomene (Adrian) Zing. He immigrated to the United States in 1905 and at the time of the newspaper article, he had been a naturalized citizen for a year (1910).  He was a storekeeper in Manchester, located  at 1105 Elm Street, and he lived at various addresses on Bridge Street.  He married 26 June 1907 in Manchester NH to Angeline Legendre, dau of Ferdinand & Justine (Bourbeau) Legendre. In 1930 he was living at 144 Bridge Street Bridge, a salesman of Automobile tires. In 1935 he and his widowed brother Camille Zing visited France, traveling by ship and returning on 21 Sep 1935 on the ship Rex. By the 1940 US Census Joseph Zing and family moved to Nashua where he was working as a machinist at Paper & Box Co., and living at 137 Chestnut Street.  He died 23 Jan 1948 at home 341 Main Street Nashua NH.

His son, Adrian Camille Zing was born 13 Apr 1908 Manchester NH, died 31 Oct 1981 in Vero Beach FL  He was a musician and involved with music and society bands for over 35 years. He attended Northeastern University, leaving before graduation to focus on playing music. In 1930 Adrian Zing was a member of an orchestra called “Threesome” that also included Paul W. Mulvanity on piano, Robert J. Mulvanity on violin, and himself (Adrian Zing) on trombone and saxophone. They were broadcasting a special program from WTAG, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. During WWII Adrian served in the U.S. Army in the120th Infantry band. In 1943 he was stationed at Fort Jackson SC. He moved to Vero Beach FL from Nashua NH about 1975. Adrian Zing married in 1932 in Lawrence MA to Lina –. They had one daughter, Mrs. Constance (Zing) Lynch of Haverhill MA, and at his death he had 5 grandsons. He was an avid sportsman, achieving Nashua NH’s 1947 City Senior Singles Tennis championship at the Holman Stadius tennis courts. and also winning medalist honors in Sunset Golf Leagues. A story in the Nashua Telegraph dated 31 Aug 1949 states that Adrian Zing was a cousin to Ray Labombarde of Nashua (Exec of the International Paper Box Machine Co), and at that time Zing was at the Poland Spring House, where he was leader and vocalist of the [Harry] Mashard orchestra of Boston, that presented concert and dance music in that hostelry.

–Some of the other Campers at Spring Valley–

Massabesic Lake 2002

Ernest Bourque.  Ernest J. Bourque was born 30 Nov 1883 , and died Feb 1964.  In 1917 he was residing at 174 Amory Street Manchester NH. He married Marie Theresa Champagne. Children included:
-son: Paul Louis Bourque, b 26 Feb 1926 NH, died 14 June 2000; m. 11 Jan 1947 Manchester NH to Claire Theresa Bellamare. He served in WW2, enlisting 15 Feb 1944, honorable discharged 7 May 1946
-daughter Vivian A. (Bourque) Laverdure. b 3 Dec 1930 Manchester NH, d. 7 June 2013 married Rodolphe M. Laverdure. Buried Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Manchester NH. -Other children include Edward E. Bourque and Eugene Bourque (thanks to Paula Denis for this info.)

Fred Buckley. Frederick Henry Buckley was born 1 January 1891 in Manchester NH, son of Michael B. & Elizabeth (Kelley) Buckley. He died on 16 May of 1968. In 1917 his WWI Registration form shows him living at 327 Concord Street in Manchester NH. He married Ann E. Crowley. She died in April of 1964. Both buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Lyons Section Lot 2548.

Lewis Farmer. Lewis Gonzaga Farmer, born 19 Dec 1893 in Manchester NH, son of John W. & Catherine (Davey) Farmer. He married 14 June 1926 in Manchester NH to Ella A. Landregan, daughter of Timothy F. & Catherine (Conway) Landregan. They had children: Ruth (Farmer) Hill, b Dec 1927 and and Lewis George Farmer (b 1930, d. 2019).

John Farmer. John Joseph Farmer, brother to Lewis G. Farmer. He was born 22 Oct 1889 Manchester NH, son of John W. & Catherine (Davey) Farmer, and died 4 March 1982 He was a WWI Veteran, enlisting 3 Dec 1917 and honorably discharged 11 June 1919.

Edward Freeman. Edward Aloysius Freeman was b 22 Aug 1893 in Manchester NH, son of William J. & Catherine “Kate” (Carr) Freeman. He died in November of 1978. In 1917 he was living at 42 Spring Street. He married 3 Feb 1917 in Mancheseter NH to Birdie M. March, daughter of James E. & Catherine (Malone) March.  In 1930 they were living on Blodget St in Manchester with children Dorothy L, Marian G., William W., Virginia M. and Paul S.

Romeo Gaumont.  Romeo Gaumont was born on 15 Dec 1889 in Quebec Canada, son of Mathias Gaumont & Henriette Lemieux. In 1917 (from his WWI Registration form) he was  living at 261 Orange St Manchester NH, single.  He died 15 July 1935 in Manchester NH
of a ruptured gastric ulcer. He was a printer/linotype operator. He was buried in Mt Calvary Cemetery on 18 July 1935, where he has a U.S. Military Headstone stating her served as a Pvt F.A. Battery F, 77th Field Infantry.

Martin Geppner.  Martin J. Geppner, son of John Geppner & Esther (McEvoy) was born abt 1881 in Manchester NH and  died on  22 Dec 1911 in Manchester NH of pleurisy. He was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery 26 Dec 1911. He is listed as a Musician in the 1908 Manchester City Directory. He and his family lived at 410 Beech Street.

Earl Gothier.  No doubt this was Earl Harold G. Gauthier, born 8 May 1892 Manchester NH, son of Napoleon & Alice (Champagne) Gauthier.He and his family lived at 202 Belmont Street in Manchester NH. By 1917 (per his WWI Draft Registration) he was living at 101 Blossom St, Haverhill MA and was married. His wife Esther — was born abt 1890 in Alabama. He was manager of The Bixby Box Toe Company. He died on 30 Sep 1953 in Montreal Canada while on a business trip.  No known children.

Robert Heath. Robert Lincoln Heath was b 14 April 1894 in Manchester NH, son of Charles R. & Josephine E. (Langmaid) Heath. In 1917 living at 515 Lincoln Street. He married on 20 June 1916 in Manchester NH to Catherine Walsh, daughter of Patrick & Bridget (Doherty) Walsh. They had at least one child, Lincoln Rowland Heath, b. 1917, died 2009.

John Madden. John Stephen Madden was b. 12 Dec 1897 in Manchester NH son of Edward & Catherine (Grady) Madden. In 1917 he was living at 318 Maple Street. He died in 1961. Buried New St. Joseph Cemetery.

Daniel McKenna.  Daniel Joseph McKenna, was born 4 July 1891 in Manchester NH, son of Daniel J. & Annie (Keyland) McKenna.
In 1917 living at 712 Beech Street, single, an automobile salesman for J.W. Cox & Son of Manchester.. He married 29 Oct 1934 in Manchester NH to Frances C. Marland daughter of Thomas W. Marland & Catherine Sheridan. He died in 1956. Mrs. McKenna died in West Long Branch NJ in January of 1998.

Ernest Munzey. Ernest L. Munsey, b. 10 Jan 1890 in San Francisco, California, son of George P. &. Dora (Glidden) Munsey. In 1917 living at 237 Notre Dame Ave in Manchester NH. He m. 31 May 1915 in Manchester NH to Rose Bertha (Thomas) Adam, daughter of Fred & Linnie (Doe) Thomas. He worked as a printer.

Thomas Spaulding. Thomas Gardiner Spaulding was born 27 June 1893 at Manchester NH, son of Benjamin G. Spaulding & Mary V. Sullivan. In 1917 he was living at 335 Laurel Street Manchester NH. He married 11 Aug 1924 in Manchester NH to Elizabeth M. Brown, dau of George Brown & Agnes MacWilliams. In 1942 he was employed by R.G. Sullivan. He had at least two children:
-son: Thomas James Spaulding, b 17 Apr 1926 Manchester Heights NH, d. 2 Apr 1998
-dau: Mary (Spaulding) Cronin, b 28 Nov 1924 Manchester NH, d. 12 Sep 2014 Portsmouth NH; m. James C. Cronin.



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7 Responses to New Hampshire Missing Places: Spring Valley Campground, near Lake Massabesic–Manchester

  1. Ronald Kula says:

    The Spring Valley brook had another wonderful history. In the late 1950’s it was the site of the annual fishing derby sponsored by the Massabesic Fish and Game Club. The derby was open to all children under the age of 1 Each year the Fish and Game Club would contract with the Fish hatcheries to provide the trout for the derby. The brook was closed at both ends between Bypass 28 and the back pond of Lake Massabesic by screening to keep the fish in the channel. Once the fish were deposited in the brook, guards were set to prevent early fishing. The day of the derby, at 8:00am sharp hordes of kids would descend to find a great place to fish. They had to do the fishing by themselves with no parental help. Tangled lines were every where along with the sounds of the kids lucky enough to catch a trout. the derby lasted from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm for one brief four hour period. At the end of that time the channel was unblocked and any fish lucky enough to make it through the derby was able to escape into the lake.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Ron, thanks so much for this addition to the history. I had run across some references to a later fishing derby but decided to keep my story to the earlier history. How nice that the lovely spot was a host to children. Fish & Game Clubs were always popular in my family, my grandfather and father both belonged to their local ones. So, did you participate in the derby? I am curious about your interest.

  2. Ronald Kula says:

    My father and a few of my uncles were members of the Massabesic Fish and Game club so I was always around the derby. I fished it and when I was old enough I was one of the people who would keep the “Early Birds” out of the water until it was time to officially fish.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Ron, great! I have to admit I was not really into fishing but I did love going out on Lake Massabesic with my parents in the canoe. A question for you. Did you know the earlier history of that camp before I wrote about it?

  3. Ronald Kula says:

    Janice, I had heard about the camp but really knew nothing before your blog. Lake Massabesic was my stomping grounds growing up especially in the summer when my cousin and I would travel all around the lake on our bikes riding the old roads and occasionally taken a forbidden dip into the lake

  4. Paula Denis says:

    My grandfather was ERNEST BOURQUE. You failed to mention two other sons in your article. My father, the eldest son was EDWARD E BOURQUE SR, and a middle brother EUGENE BOURQUE. PAUL AND VIVIAN are the younger siblings.
    Also, I have a photo of my grandfather ERNEST, outside his tent. I always wondered what the background to that photo was. THANKYOU for a bit of family history.
    Paula BOURQUE Denis.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Paula, Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I’ve updated Ernest Bourque’s biography to include Edward and Eugene. Thanks for the info, and so now you know where the photograph was taken!

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