In 1952, Southern Baptist missionary, Rev. John Sydney McGee, from his mission base in Igede, Ekiti, went to the source of the warm and cold springs despite several dissuasions and warnings by locals that a visit to the source of the springs is an invitation of death from the ‘forces’ surrounding these unusual springs.
Rev. McGee made his way through the dense forest, up the hill to the source of the side-by-side springs and according to Rev. McGee’s later brief, written account, “After seeing it, I felt that it could be used for a good purpose. The land was later secured through the Baptist Convention to be used as a Youth Camp and the camp was being visited regularly by groups of Baptist youth and adults, along with missionaries and other visitors who came on vacation.
By early 1971, news of the Baptist Camp was becoming much more known by persons (outside of the Baptist Mission and Nigerian Convention) who saw possibilities for the development of a commercial, tourist resort. By December 22, 1973, the government had opened its guest house tagged Western Villa. Rev. McGee and his family still lived in and managed the camp until January 1974, when the government took over the swimming pool area. This led to the McGees having to return to their Baptist Mission residence at Igede and continuing to manage the facilities (other than the pool) from there, until their retirement from Nigeria in July 1977.