It is also said that Mr. Hurst had Jewish roots but became a member of the Christian religion at some point and subsequently an Adventist. As the years ensued he saw it a fitting legacy and therefore donated the property for the benefit of the church. Today, the auditorium named the “Balfour Hurst auditorium” in his honor.
The property, in addition to being
a campsite, is also home to the legendary Spring Garden Bath
which is sourced from a natural spring and was originally the residence of Mr.
Vincent Verley (
Spring village was previously
named Pot House Pen but was later changed by the Verleys,
who in their own “British” way, wanted the village to have a more
refined name. In fact, it is because of
The grounds of
The Auditorium is a large open steel frame with one end enclosed as a back drop. It is used mainly to congregate or host special indoor activities. The building was started over fifteen years ago with a smaller structure but has been enlarged over the years. There are over 10 double dorms on the property and these are used by the different campers which attend. The sessions are grouped according to the various ages and normally last for about one week.
To add the ambience of the grounds, a water tower was built within the last few years to add to the charm of the area. It is located on the right side of the property on entering and is opposite to the auditorium. Its presence helps to bring balance to the property and therefore becomes an appropriate addition for the open space which was bare for so many years.
The tower is about 12 feet high and about 10 feet in diameter at the base. It is mainly constructed with concrete and stone and is crowned with decorative concrete blocks at the top rim. It runs constantly and provides another option for cooling off on excessively hot days.
main feature is of course is the pool, often referred to by locals as “
Besides the facilities of the main area, the mango trees around the campus and deeper within the nearby woods are constantly visited by campers. These host a reasonable variety of mangoes like Stringy, Blackie, Number 11 and other juicy components of the forest. Besides mango trees, the young visitors would also pass several Guineppe trees heavily weighed down with their tantalizing offerings. Just the mere sight of these, becons a resounding “mmmmmm!” from deep within.
In addition to fruit trees, visitors frequently encounter various birds and other small wildlife within the area. At times, many doves and other small birds can be seen sailing through the trees. It is also not unusual to see a mongoose or other small rodents within these woods.
As noted, one cannot enjoy the
full experience of
The water from the pool now runs off into the Innswood Sugar plantation located within its vicinity, but further up, it still flows to the village through large pipes as was done for many generations.
The pool, set in a lush backdrop is surrounded by various trees such as Mango, Breadfruit and other various fruits including banana and sugar cane. It is also prominently graced by two large palms of which are vestiges of its past.
As seen, a huge tree, which became a casualty from a recent storm fell along the far side of the pool. It narrowly missed it but serves as a reminder for us not to take such beauty for granted.
The campgrounds of
Information for further reading:
Thetford Great House National Heritage Trust web site
The Verley Family Tree Family Tree Website
Search for Family Names Jamaica Family search site
Search for Old Almanacs Jamaica Almanacs search site
Jamaica Sugar Estates 1900’s Candoo.com, Resources
Property owners in 1800’s Bromfeild family Research Site
Genealogy Research Bromfeild family Research Site