The land between Foursquare to the East, Lower Greys to the West, Carrington to the North and Woodbourne to the South is known as the Woodbourne Valley. It is mostly flat land with good soil that has been in agriculture for more than 300 years. During the dry season the soil is dry allowing for easy cultivation. However when the rains come, the entire area turns to one big bog and to get the cane cut and transported out is very difficult.
Over the last centuries the various plantations have made great efforts to dig drainage wells with the aim of removing the excess rainwater as quickly as possible. Every field had at least one well with drains channelling the water to them.
Every few years the wells had to be cleaned and the soil that washed down them was removed. This would choke the well and stop the water from penetrating the coral rock some 30 or more meters down.
To do this a hand cranked windless was placed across the top of the well and a man sent down with a shovel and bucket. The soil was hauled to the top and spread across the surrounding fields.
Some time in the early 1900’s a well between Carrington Factory and Woodbourne was due to be cleaned. The windless was set up and a man was lowered down. After a while no activity was noticed in the well and he would not answer any calls made to him. Another man went down to see what the matter was. Again there was no answer from him. A third man then went down and once again that was the last was heard from him.
By now those left at the top figured that something was seriously wrong and no one else wanted to go down. They got a fowl in a cage and lowered it down the well. After leaving it for a while they pulled the cage and bird back to the surface. It was dead.
The well was never cleaned again and is full of soil. The name Three Man Well has stuck to the area to this day.
Many years’ later crude oil and natural gas was discovered in the Woodbourne Valley. It is most likely that the natural gas, which has no smell, was leaking into the well and poisoned the men and the fowl.
If anyone has information on the names of the three men or the dates I would be grateful if you would tell me so that I can add the information. Click on Contact Burt’s to message me.
You can click on the thumbnail image to see a larger image with captions.