Beautiful Bath County has been focused on tourism and recreation for many years. Protected areas preserve the natural beauty and the wildlife of the area Bath County has been the destination of many through the years who were drawn to its numerous mineral springs for healing. It was named for the ancient English resort city of Bath, also known for its springs and healing baths since the days of the Roman Empire. Bath County is one of the four Virginia counties without a traffic light.
Bath County encompasses 529 square miles of land and 5 square miles of water. Within the total area of 535 square miles 4,616 people reside (2013 census data). It is the second-least populated county in Virginia. Much of the County is protected land. In fact 89 percent of the County is forest – 51 percent national forest, 6 percent state parks, and 9,000 acres of forest habitat owned by The Nature Conservancy. The National Protected Areas include land in the George Washington National Forest, and its location within a United States National Radio Quiet Zone.
The County of Bath was created from portions of Greenbrier, Augusta, and Botetourt counties in 1790. Its location in the Allegheny Mountains and adjoining the border with West Virginia, combined with the presence of a number of rejuvenating mineral springs, and the warmth of its people, have made Bath County a destination for both outdoor activities and for tourism. The construction of the first Homestead Resort in 1766 made the village of Hot Springs a recognized year round resort destination.
“Taking the waters” became very popular during the mid-18th Century. Bath County’s mineral springs made it an obvious venue for these tourists. This popularity has continued through the centuries. The warmth and diversity of the County’s residents have delighted visitors through the years and repeatedly confirmed its popularity.
Among the first settlers in the area were a number of educated, Presbyterian pioneers of Scotch-Irish descent. Many residents of the County were born and raised in Europe, bringing with them the richness of their home cultures. Many of the residents work farms that were owned for hundreds of years by their ancestors. A number of residents were also educated at some of the top schools in the country.
Bath County is also the location of the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant.
There are no incorporated cities or towns in Bath County. The County Seat of Bath County is the village of Warm Springs. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Warm Springs was 123. The community grew around the Court House, the Jefferson Pools nearby, and the historic mill town known as Germantown. Although primarily a residential area, Warm Springs also has a number of renovated inns and historic homes available to tourists. The Cowpasture River is a popular fishing and kayaking destination. Several structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including: Jefferson Pools, Hidden Valley Rock Shelter, Homestead Dairy Barns, Oakley Farm, and Three Hills.
Hot Springs, home of The Omni Homestead Resort, has a population of 738. Several other resorts are also located in this area. The Homestead is the descendant of the first inn built to accommodate those who came to “take the waters.” It was built in 1766 by Thomas Bullitt. The National Register of Historic Places includes several sites near Hot Springs: The Homestead, Mustoe House, the Yard, Barton Lodge, Switchback School, and Garth Newel.
Other Bath County Communities include:
West Warm Springs
The major highways connecting these communities are US Route 220, and State Routes 39 and 42.
Travel on any highway can be dangerous. That danger is multiplied if you do not know the roads, or if others do not know the roads. In a county with so many tourists, it might be unreasonable to expect no accidents to occur. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a highway crash through no fault of your own, you may have legal recourse to appropriate compensation for your medical bills, your pain and suffering, lost wages, or wrongful death. Altizer Law, P.C., has been helping people who were injured due to the wrongdoing or negligence of others for many years. Call us if you need help or if you have questions we can answer for you. When you call Bettina Altizer and her team you should know that they will be on your side, and only on your side.
Without doubt, the economy of Bath County is driven by recreation and tourism. In addition to arts, entertainment, recreation, food service and accommodation, the citizens of Bath County are employed by Government, Health Care and Social Services, Construction, Utilities, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
The county’s top employers are:
- Omni Homestead
- Bath County Public Schools
- Bath County Community Hospital
- Phantom Eagle, LLC — Phantom Eagle Inc. (PE) is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) engineering and technical services company, headquartered in Hot Springs, Virginia with a reputation of providing “graduate-level” professional work force dedicated to serving our clients. Phantom Eagle Inc., provides comprehensive, cost-effective, and integrated services to the federal government, civilian agencies and the commercial business sector.
- County of Bath
- Kissito Healthcare
- Natural Retreats US Inc. — Vacation Rental Homes at the Homestead Preserve in Warm Springs, VA outside the Omni Homestead Resort
- Dominion Virginia Power — Working toward a cleaner, smarter and more secure energy future. Virginia customers may choose to meet their electric needs by purchasing renewable energy from a competitive supplier if an offer is available. Learn more about licensed suppliers offering renewable energy.
- Virginia Department of Conservation
- Barc Electrical Co-op
- Clayton Plecker and Sons — Construction, Equipment & Contractors
- Mccarty Roofing
- The Inn at Gristmill Square — This B&B resort, formerly a village mill, is located in George Washington National Forest, a 12-minute walk to Warm Springs Gallery and a 1-minute drive to Route 39.
- The Owners Club at The Homestead
- MGM Networks – “MGM Networks was a subsidiary of AMC Networks International. They held AMC Networks International’s interests in the MGM branded cable television, satellite television, other television channels and services that reached nearly 120 countries and territories” [Wikipedia]
Bath County offers every kind of outdoor activity or adventure you can imagine for every age. The forest areas offer ample opportunities and locations for fishing and hunting. In addition to the scenic overlooks and the natural beauty of the area, there numerous places to watch wildlife, swim, fish, camp, Hike, Ride horses, Picnic or go canoeing, kayaking or boating. It is a perfect area for geocaching. Venues include Bolar Mountain Recreation and Lake Moomaw, Douthat State Park, Cowpasture River, and the trout-stocked Jackson River.
The county also offers several locations where fishing and hunting licenses and equipment can be purchased as well as several other outfitters.
Bath Community Hospital is a non-profit critical access hospital of 25 beds that provides high-quality health care. The hospital’s services include: emergency services, diagnostic services, skilled Care, Outpatient Services, Physical Therapy and Wellness Center, Health Awareness (COPD), and the Hot Springs Pharmacy. Other social and health care providers in Bath County include: Kissito Healthcare, Bath County Board of Public Welfare, and Rockbridge Area Community Services Board.
Health and human services agencies and facilities are committed to providing the highest possible level of care. Sometimes, however, people make mistakes. When that happens, people suffer. The attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C., have been helping people to recover from medical negligence or malpractice for more than 25 years. If you, or a loved one, has been injured or has suffered due to the misdeeds or negligence of a medical provider, call us. We will answer your questions, evaluate your case, and represent you in negotiation or in court to obtain for you justice and maximum compensation (as defined by the Commonwealth of Virginia) for your hurts and harms, or for the wrongful death of a loved one.
In addition to The Omni Homestead Resort, there are a number of favorite tourist sites in Bath County. These include the Jefferson Pools, which have been visited by tourists since the 18th Century; the Warwick Mansion in Hidden Valley, which was the setting for the film Sommersby; a number of antebellum and post-Civil War buildings throughout the County; The Warm Springs Inn, which began as the first jail and courthouse; the Mustoe house, which is the oldest structure in the County, and other historic villages, cemeteries and other landmarks.
For those interested in agri-tourism, there are many farms that have been worked by generations of one family. One of those is Addison Patch Farm, which is open to the public. Diamond Triple C Ranch in Millboro is an Alpaca Farm that is also open to the public. The Bath County Farmer’s Market is the ideal place to buy locally produced food and other farm products. Also open to the public is the Coursey Springs State Fish Hatchery at Millboro. It is one of 9 hatcheries operated by the Department of Game an Inland Fisheries. Trout fingerlings are brought here from the Paint Bank Fish Culture Station in Craig County. They grow to a catchable size at this hatchery. It is open to the public year round.
Music Lovers can find outstanding musical performances in several genres, ranging from Classical to Blue Grass at the Herter Hall/Manor House, which is home to the Garth Newel Music Center and the Garth Newel Piano Quartet.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
Bettina C. Altizer and Terri Welch Luzynski, the attorneys at Altizer Law, P.C., are prepared to place their knowledge, experience and tenacity to work for you if you have been injured through no fault of your own in Bath County, or if a loved one has been lost as a result of the wrongdoing or negligence of another person. We are known for our compassionate care for our clients, for the level of care provided by our attorneys, and for our diligence and determination in obtaining justice and fair compensation for their injuries and losses.