“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

Bath Historic District

Washington Heritage Trail

Washington Heritage Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 12, 2018
1. Washington Heritage Trail Marker
Inscription.  Nearly 30 years after colonial travelers, including a teenaged George Washington, pitched tents and "took the waters" in stone lined pools, the Virginia Legislature in 1776 established a town called Bath on 50 acres around the warm mineral springs. The law establishing a town around the springs was unprecedented. It was the first, and possibly the only, American town set up specifically to be a spa. The official name of the municipality remains Bath although the world knows it by the Post Office name of Berkeley Springs.

A walking tour traces the history of dozens of historic buildings within the 18th-century town limits beginning with the founders and buyers of the first lots sold in 1777 including George and Samuel Washington as well as three signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, two Revolutionary War generals and a half dozen members of the Continental Congress. The colonial elite clearly selected Bath as a fashionable summer escape.

The town's rich and colorful history displays cycles of notoriety and decline. It has enjoyed at least four Golden Ages as a premier resort and spa beginning with the
Washington Heritage Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 12, 2018
2. Washington Heritage Trail Marker
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1760s through the 1790s and continuing to antebellum, Victorian and present-day. It even boasts Civil War damage at the hands of Stonewall Jackson.

In 2009, more than 150 historic structures within the town limits and its distinguished nearly-250-year history led to designation of Bath as a National Historic District. Architectural contributions range from Italianate Victorian to Gothic Revival to Queen Anne.

The legislative act establishing Bath called for building convenient houses for accommodating numbers of infirm person, who frequent those springs yearly for the recovery of their health. December 6, 1776
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, and the West Virginia, Washington Heritage Trail series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is December 6, 1776.
Location. 39° 37.7′ N, 78° 13.59′ W. Marker is in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of North Washington Street (U.S. 522) and Independence Street, on the right when traveling north on North Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 North Washington 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
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marker. Henry Whiting (here, next to this marker); Robert Brown (a few steps from this marker); Solomon Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Tannery vs Hotels (within shouting distance of this marker); George Dick (within shouting distance of this marker); James Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); The Industrial North End (within shouting distance of this marker); Berkeley Springs (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley Springs.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 149 times since then and 24 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.

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Sep. 16, 2021