As a kid I remember playing around this area, walking up and down the river, enjoying he natural fruits around. Then there was a sudden burst of excitement when it was deemed surveyors found oil, that area instantly became known as “Oil Mine” what will all the gigantic oil mining gadgets being shipped into that location.
Unfortunately -or fortunately depending on how you look at the situation – after a year of drilling what was found was considered not enough to continue. The site was abandoned and so were a majority of the machinery. The name ‘Oil Mine” stuck though, and eventually became Windsor Mineral Spring fondly know as Fire Water.
Windsor Mineral Spring – Just outside of St Ann’s Bay
The Windsor Mineral Spring (more commonly known as “Fire Water”) is a small pool of water with a very unusual quality. The pool contains water which can catch fire! This phenomenon is believed to be caused by a high concentration of sulphur in the water.
Once you arrive at the community of Windsor, you’ll be greeted by the residents who will usher you towards a bamboo and tarpaulin shielded enclosure. Inside lies the famous “Fire Water”. Your guide will demonstrate the fire water to you and let you walk through the flaming water.
Fire massages are offered in the pool, where the recipient lies in the water and a massage is performed with a towel which has been soaked in the sulphuric water and held in the flames. The high concentration of minerals in the water is said to contain medicinal properties and many stories have been told of its healing and rejuvenating effects.
Finally, the guides will demonstrate how they cook on the fire water by setting up a pot on a stand above the flames.
History of the Fire Water
The pond has been used for centuries as a medical bathing spot for slaves from the surrounding plantations. However, its flammable properties were discovered some 80 years ago when Mehala Smith (now called Granny May) attempted to bathe in the water but was troubled by wasps from a nest hanging in the trees nearby. She attempted to burn out the nest with a flaming torch but the torch fell out of her hands. When the torch hit the pool the water mysteriously caught alight. She ran home screaming that “duppies” (ghosts) were in the water. Mehala continued to bath in the water and is now over 100 years old.