Visitors from all over the world make the trek to Jamaica every year and head for that special spot in Jamaica called Milk River.
The healing waters are said to have curative powers, and many attest to feeling literally like a new person, having immersed their bodies for an hour or two.
An analysis of relative radio activity of the Milk River Baths compared to other well-known spas of worldwide reputations revealed that the waters at Milk River in Clarendon are nine times as active as Bath in England; 50 times as active as Vichy in France; three times as active as Kalrsbad in Austria; and 54 Baden in Switzerland.
The property of ‘The Milk River Baths’, in Clarendon, Central Jamaica, dates back to the days of slavery in the 18th Century. The owner was a Mr. Jonathan Ludford, at that time kept a number of enslaved persons. The story is told that an enslaved man was severely punished by his master for having committed what was deemed an offense.
He was badly beaten and thrown in a dungeon on the premises. He however, escaped and ran away into the nearby hills, where he discovered a spring with salty tasting water. He bathed and soaked his battered and bruised body in the salty waters, enduring the pain which wracked his body. After a few days when he was thought to be dead, he returned to the property, much to the amazement of everyone, all of his wounds completely healed, and looking really healthy.
The enslaver, Mr. Ludford and the other enslaved persons, were shocked to see what to them was a miracle. When Mr. Ludford learned from the man that that he had bathed his wounds for a number of days in a salty stream, he promised him that he would be spared from any more punishment if he showed him where the stream was. Having seen the stream with the water pouring from the rocks, and realizing that there must be something magical about the waters, Ludford fenced the area and put the enslaved man there as watchman.
According to estimates, the original property was over two thousand acres, but today only 344 acres remain as the Milk River Baths Property. Mr. Ludford willed the buildings and property to the Government of Jamaica for the benefit of the Jamaican people. The first two mineral baths were constructed and opened to the public in 1794. Since then, additional baths have been built.
Based on demand, from Jamaicans and visitors from overseas, additional baths and bedrooms have been constructed. The property now has six public mineral baths, three private baths, an outdoor mineral swimming pool and 14 guest rooms.
An analysis of the composition of the Milk River water reveals that it contains:
Parts Per 100,000
Calcium 60.03 Magnesium 69.49 Sodium 784.77
Bicarbonate 0.06 Silica 1.20 Chloride 1375