History

The Story of Berkeley Springs

A fountainhead of warm mineral waters frequented by Native Americans long before Europeans arrived in the New World, are at the heart of the mountain spa community of Berkeley Springs in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. First noted as?Medicine Springs in 1747?on a?map drawn by Thomas Jefferson’s father, the waters for many centuries have drawn visitors seeking?health and relief from the stress of everyday life.

George Washington first visited in 1748?and made the area his favorite getaway through the 1760s.? In 1776, Washington’s family and friends drew up a plat of 134 lots, named the streets, and incorporated The Town of Bath, invoking the muses of the renowned English spa. Yet the magic of the springs prevailed, and the town and surrounding area are known around the world by their name — Berkeley Springs.

The waters flow at a constant 74°F from the base of Warm Springs Ridge. You may still drink freely and fill your jugs at the public tap guaranteed by the Virginia law establishing the town in 1776.? You can wade in the ancient stone pools in?one of the country’s smallest state parks. The town has endured cycles of notoriety, fashion, war and modern progress, but remains today the Country’s First Spa, a?noted art town?and? friendly haven surrounded by West Virginia’s splendid?outdoors.

Places to Experience History

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Museum of the Berkeley Springs

 

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“Taking the Waters” : Historic Roman Baths and contemporary spas

 

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Bath Historic District

 

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The Washington Heritage Trail in Morgan County

 

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Treasure Tour of Berkeley Springs State Park

 

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Berkeley Springs State Park

 

history-berkeley-castleBerkeley Castle?— (Open ONLY for weddings. No tours.)

 

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George Washington Archives on Berkeley Springs

 

history-libraryHistorical and Geneological Society – at the Berkeley Springs Library

 

Let us tell you more about our town’s rich history.