Deeded to God, Healing Springs Draw Believers

South Carolina Healing Springs are site of 1781 legend
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2014 1:48 PM CST
Deeded to God, Healing Springs Draw Believers
Carolyn Hayes fills up as many bottles as she can from the Healing Springs at God's Acre on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Blackville, SC.   (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

A natural spring in South Carolina was deeded to God, and those who have visited it over the past 233 years have no trouble seeing why. "I'd take a shower in it if I could," Annabelle Galik says of the Healing Springs of Barnwell County. "Jesus owns it, and if He's maintaining it here, it's got to be good." Galik, who lives about 100 miles away, was given four months to live after a cancer diagnosis—and that was two and a half years ago, the AP reports. Her husband picks up buckets of the water every two weeks and brings them home; Galik drinks it alongside conventional cancer treatments. Her husband, Steve, calls the place "about as close as I think you can get to the Garden of Eden."

In 1781, according to legend, American Indians took four British soldiers who'd been fatally wounded to the springs. They returned to their post in Charleston after six months, reports. Settlers eventually purchased the springs from American Indians, paying for it with corn. The spot had a succession of owners until it was deeded to God in 1944; the previous owner, Lute Boylston, wanted to make the springs public, notes. The area is now called God's Acre, the AP notes. The water now runs from taps at the site, installed by the county, where environmental officials have given it the top health rating. "There's just something about this place. People for hundreds of years can't be wrong," says Steve Galik. (More South Carolina stories.)

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