Saturday, April 7, 2012

Manning Lake, NH

"There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed,
Some forever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain." - Lennon-McCartney

I have a place I remember, a place with only positive memories, a place that was taken away too early. Some twenty seven years before I was born, my grandfather Arthur G. Tribou, began building a log cabin on a little lake in New Hampshire. By the time I hatched this cabin had evolved and become a family retreat that was cherished by most if not all that visited. The lake's name is Manning Lake. It is a small lake, a little over a mile in length and about half a mile across and sits south of Lake Winnipesaukee in the little town of Gilmanton Iron Works.

In prepping for a visit with my parents this week I purchased a converter that takes slides and negatives and saves them off as digital images. Going through my father's slides (thousands) I found bunches of pictures from the NH cabin. Many pre-dated me. Here is a link to a photo gallery of these pictures: link

The memories are vivid. Rustic cabins all around, rowboats made of wood, stone fireplaces. The neighbors had some kids similar in ages to me and my brothers. I remember games of capture the flag but with army themes and play guns. There were great areas to play, under the sky-scraping pines, that included a tire swing, and a regular wooden seat swing with long ropes and extremely high swinging. One time, while up at the camp with my grandparents I was swinging and jumped off, as was the thing to do, while on the up-swing and landed and fell slightly. Who knew that having a Popsicle stick in your mouth while flying through the air out of control would be a problem. That stick caught the roof of the mouth back by the throat and put a pretty good indent back there. No blood thankfully, but it hurt to swallow for weeks. I never told my grandparents, my grandfather would have said something wise about a lesson learned but my grandmother would have likely disciplined me...harshly. There was nice built in horseshoe pits with Adirondack chairs for those viewing. The fishing was often good. Perch, pickerel, sunfish, catfish and if you were lucky, bass.

With my grandparents aging the family decided to sell the cabin in the late 1970's, much to the chagrin of the grandchildren. The buyers quickly converted the cabin to a year round residence, losing all the charm along the way. The lake became a sort of pilgrimage for at least one brother and myself. I have been back there once, in the 80's. Perhaps someday I'll find myself there again, to see if the lake and surrounding mountains are as magical as I remember.


  1. Wow! I love these pics......will be linking from
    thanks! Mike

  2. I loved your photos and the views are the same as I remember. My family also vacationed on Manning Lake. We stayed at the Paulson's who were a few cottages to the right of your cabin and in the 60's we started staying at Marshall's camps because they had indoor plumbing. I remember the clang of horseshoes coming from the pine grove and the laughter of all the men. Now that I'm older I realize that the laughter was due to large consumption of beer. The smells and the sounds of the lake are imbedded into my memories and as I get closer to retirement I'm looking to see if there was anything for sale on Manning Lake, which is how I stumbled on your blog. Thanks for the memories. Gloria