TEENAGE

Celebrating Jamaica50: Bath Botanical Gardens and Fountain

TEENhistory

| Tuesday, November 06, 2012 |



THE tranquil and beautiful spring and garden located in St Thomas has been known to bring people to its cultural experience from all angles. The Bath Fountain and Botanical Gardens has been described as maybe one of few spots that have been said to provide 'healing power' and a peace of mind and soul for its satisfied visitors.

The Bath Botanical Gardens is the second oldest botanical garden to date in the Western Hemisphere, where it is said that the gardens were discovered by a runaway slave in the 1690s. The story, though conflicting, is that he came upon the hot fountain water and decided to wash his feet.

The next day he realised that the ulcers on his leg, that plagued him for years, were healed. He attributed this healing to the hot fountain waters of the Bath Botanical Gardens.

Since then the waters have been quoted to be the most powerful natural 'medicine' in the country. Analysis has shown where the water is high in sulphate, lime and magnesium which are said to be good for treating rheumatic ailments and skin diseases. Many locals claim the water can heal ailments ranging from cancer to leprosy, with rejuvenating tales from multiple visitors to back up their beliefs.

Tourists and locals have journeyed to this 'wonderland' situated in the foothills of the John Crow Mountains and have left rather pleased. The water body is surrounded by strong rustic characteristics including many plants; plants that were the first to be planted in this garden at the time they were being introduced in Jamaica. The gardens surrounding the waters are much smaller today that when they were established in the 1700s.

Despite the decline in business in the past few years for the tour guides and healing 'specialists', Bath Fountain is still a getaway for many who look forward to a relaxing day.

— Melaine Warren

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