Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Washington Heritage Trail
From the time he was 16 through the reading of his will in 1799, George Washington ate, slept, owned land and bathed in and around Berkeley Springs.
Described as a "little bush village" where hundreds of visitors came for the healing waters, stayed in rough cabins and lived off the land as early as 1750, the area around the springs was known at various times as Medicinal Springs, Healing Springs, Warm Springs and Frederick Springs.
The Virginia legislature established the town of Bath at the springs in 1776. Building plaques note the founders and buyers of the first lots sold in 1777, including George and Samuel Washington as well as others of the colonial elite who selected Bath as the country's first spa. Washington visited nearly a dozen times with various members of his family, often staying for several weeks. He came for the waters as well as to socialize. Historic reports included racetracks, gambling and houses of ill repute.
Hospitality and health have always been the central purpose of Berkeley
I am very glad Cole Lewis purchased a lott or two for me at Warm Springd, as it was always my intention to become a proprietor there if a town should be laid off at that place.
George Washington to Samuel Washington - October 27, 1777
"to build convenient houses for accommodating numbers of infirm persons, who frequent those springs yearly, for the recovery of their health.......fifty acres of land adjoining the said springs is hereby established a town, by the name of Bath."
An Act Establishing a Town at Warm Springs—
December 6, 1776
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Science & Medicine • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, the George Washington Slept Here, and the West Virginia, Washington Heritage Trail series lists.
Location. 39° 37.663′ N, 78° 13.613′ W. Marker is in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Congress Street and North Washington Street (U.S. 522), on the right when traveling west on Congress Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 Congress Street, Berkeley Springs WV 25411, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James Smith (a few steps from this marker); Tannery vs Hotels (within shouting distance of this marker); James Elliott (within shouting distance of this marker); Bath Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry Whiting (within shouting distance of this marker); Frederick Conrad / Robert Rutherford (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Robert Brown (about 300 feet away); George Dick (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley Springs.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 115 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.