History and Culture at the Healing Springs in Blackville

By:Page Ivey


I have heard of the Healing Sp​rings in Bla​ckville my whole life, the stories of how British soldiers left here to die during the Revolutionary War made miraculous recoveries after local Indians encouraged them to drink from the springs.

The springs have been written about in a ​bo​ok by Raymond Boylston, cousin of the last nondiety owner of the springs. Lute Boylston deeded the springs to “Almighty God” and dedicated the springs to the use of all the people.

Now on any given day, you can see people drive up with trunks full of plastic bottles for filling. For those who arrive without a jug, the Healing Springs Country ​Store just around the corner from the springs sells sterilized gallon jugs for less than $2.

The water from the springs is cold and tastes, well, it tastes like water.

I was not mortally wounded or ill when I sampled the water, so I cannot attest to its healing properties. Plus the folks filling up their jugs say there is an element of faith to the healing power of the water. For them, it’s not a one-time sip, it’s a lifetime of drinking with the water, sometimes cooking or even bathing in it.

On a recent stop, Lou West from Cordova, S.C., said the water is the only water her 88-year-old mother will drink. Her mother suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and believes the water helps her condition.

“She feels that it is a blessing to her soul,” West said. “She uses this water because of her faith in it that it has been blessed by God.”

West says she thinks the water tastes better than other water and is more refreshing.

Isaac Thomas, a pastor at Emanuel AME Church in Cope, S.C., says he has come to Healing Springs at least once a month for the past seven years to fill jugs for family. Sometimes after the jugs are filled, he will walk around in the water that pools at the back of the springs.

“With faith, we believe that it will speed the healing up,” he said.

According to the signs at Healing Springs, also called “God’s Acre,” the spring water has been tested and determined to be pure with healthful minerals.

“People from all parts of South Carolina and out of state use this water,” West said. “If they are traveling that far, they believe it’s blessed water.”

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