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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Warm Springs in Bath County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Virginia Springs Resorts

 
 
The Virginia Springs Resorts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
1. The Virginia Springs Resorts Marker
On the upper left is a photo of Two men at the Warm Springs Resort. On the upper right is an Excerpt from lithograph of the Warm Springs Resort. Both Courtesy of the Bath County Historical Society.
Inscription. Although turnpikes were built primarily to facilitate trade, many routes within western Virginia were improved to support recreation. Warm Springs Mountain Turnpike provided access to the Warm Springs and Hot Springs area, home of natural mineral springs. These two small community springs were part of the region known as the "Virginia Springs", a popular tourist attraction among the residents of pre- and post-Civil War Virginia. At the height of its popularity, Warm Springs hosted such notables as Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee.

Although the mineral waters were known to Williamsburg residents as early as 1716, the first bath house was built in Warm Springs in 1761. The 120-foot diameter octagonal structure still stands today, located just north of the Bath County Courthouse in Warm Springs. By 1800, more than a dozen local springs were collectively known as the Virginia Springs, including Warm Springs, Hot Springs, Healing Springs, White Sulphur Springs, Blue Springs, Salt Sulphur Springs, Red Sulphur Springs, Sweet Springs, and several others. Each spring was believed to have curative powers over specific organs of the body. The Warm Springs pools were said to be especially effective in the treatment of liver and bowel disorders.

The springs were especially popular with the upper class, as a visit required considerable
Advertizement for Healing Springs image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
2. Advertizement for Healing Springs
In the lower center is this copy of an Advertisement for Healing Springs in Bath County from F.W. Beers, Illustrated Atlas of the City of Richmond, Virginia, 1876. Courtesy of the Library of Virginia Special Collections.
investment of time and travel expenses. The combination of distance and mountainous terrain made the trip a hazardous journey. Once at the springs, most people agreed that a minimum stay of three weeks was required for the waters to have a curative effect.
 
Erected by Virginia Department of Transportation.
 
Location. 38° 3.065′ N, 79° 45.964′ W. Marker is near Warm Springs, Virginia, in Bath County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 39 and Homestead Mountain Drive, on the right when traveling west on State Highway 39. Click for map. Located at the Dan Ingalls Overlook in George Washington National Forest. Marker is in this post office area: Warm Springs VA 24484, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Settlement on Warm Springs Mountain (here, next to this marker); Life at the Tollhouse (a few steps from this marker); The Turnpike Movement in Virginia, 1825-1835 (a few steps from this marker); The Rev. Dr. William H. Sheppard (approx. 0.8 miles away); Early Bath County Courthouses (approx. 0.8 miles away); Terrill Hill (approx. 0.8 miles away); Mary Johnston (approx. 1.1 miles away); The County Seat of Bath (approx. 1.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Warm Springs.
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
The Virginia Springs Resorts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 10, 2010
3. The Virginia Springs Resorts Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 623 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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