According to legend the baths were discovered in the 17th century by a runaway slave suffering from ulcers on his leg. He stumbled across the spring and washed his wounded limb in the water. He noticed the next day that his leg began to rapidly heal. News of the healing fountain spread and soon the spring (then named “The Bath of St Thomas the Apostle”) attracted visitors from all over Jamaica. In 1699 Colonel Stanton (the owner of the land on which the spring stood) sold the 1,130 acre estate to the Government of Jamaica. The Government developed the fountain and built a hospital on the site offering free treatment using the magical waters. Guest houses sprang up nearby and many wealthy merchants built homes here, establishing Bath as a fashionable spa town