By: Jonathan Bellingham, 3rd Generation Family Member and Recreation Manager
“If you use your imagination, you can picture Capon water flowing into the creek, which flows into the Capon River, which flows into the Potomac, which flows into the Atlantic. In that sense, Capon water really is everywhere!”
I have shared that observation during the Spring House tour every Saturday of the Capon season over the last 25+ years without giving much thought to the mystery of the water itself and how those of us who have benefited from it over the years are connected. This month Wonderful West Virginia magazine featured Capon Springs in their cover story about our state historical waters. Full article.
Reading this story made me wonder, when Henry Frye (the first known European to discover the Spring) filled his thirst in 1765 after a day of hunting bear, did he have any idea one day it would be a watering hole of presidents and military leaders or part of the debt to settle a war between a country that hadn’t even formed yet? Could he have ever considered that two American Olympic Teams would drink Capon Water exclusively? Or, that someone like me would someday be enjoying my morning pool dips, post run hydrations or relaxing hot soaks at the Spa?
Certainly from personal experience he might have been able to envision it becoming a prescribed medicine; after all, his wife was restored to health after she consumed it. Though he did not have the means to do it at the time, it would not have been that far-fetched to dream that 150 years after they first sipped Capon water, it would be prized as a bottled product delivered to home and office.
I certainly am amazed how our own family entered the story when our grandfather got into the water distribution business in 1928, which led to the purchase of the spring and eventually resurrecting the resort. After his failed efforts to make a go of the bottling business, the water eventually became the life-blood of the resort. Now many come to fill up their containers so they can continue Henry Frye’s efforts to maintain good health for their families. And guests still tell us stories of how the water has restored them to a better quality of living. My own experience supports their testimony.
And when I think about the hydrologic cycle itself, I realize that those of us who partake of this precious liquid are tied both to our predecessors and our descendants in a very concrete way. For in the process of the water flowing, past meets present and future. Consider for a moment that the spring water coming to the surface now first came down as rain many decades ago. So whether we drink, soak or bathe with it, we could be experiencing the same water that our grandparents watched come down on a lazy September afternoon back in the 1940s when they were our age. Likewise, the thundershower that got us wet recently is the same substance our great grandkids could be splashing about in the kiddie pool someday down the road. And there is great comfort in just the contemplation of that connection.
Thus, the water’s healing power continues from generation to generation… drink up!
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