Bath County

In 1745, Bath County was settled by pioneers of mostly Scotch-Irish descent. John Lewis and his wife, Margaret Lynn, first settled northwest of Staunton in 1732 at Fort Lewis. By 1740 he had purchased land on the Cowpasture River. He is known as the Father of Bath County. He gave the deed to the Cowpasture River plot to his son Charles who moved to Fort Lewis with his wife Sarah Murray. John Lewis’ other son, Andrew, and Thomas Bullit received a patent for the Hot Springs tract of 300 acres and built the first hotel on the site of the Homestead Resort in 1766.

Visitors began coming to the springs by 1750. An act of the Virginia Assembly passed in 1790 created Bath County from the counties of Augusta, Botetourt and Greenbrier. Named for the English resort city of Bath, the county quickly became a national resort attraction as tourists flocked to the mineral waters of the springs. Approximately 89 percent of Bath County is forest. More than 176,800 acres comprise the George Washington National Forest. Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw are located within the national forest. T.M. Gathright Wildlife Management Area of 13,428 acres is managed by the Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries for the production and management of wildlife such as the wild turkey.

Bath County consists of 540 square miles located in the west central portion of Virginia. Elevations range from 4,477 feet above sea level atop Paddy Knob to 1,140 above sea level where the Cowpasture River flows into Alleghany County.

There are no incorporated towns in Bath County but there are many thriving small communites. The population of the county is approximately 5,000 people.

Bath County’s Mission Statement:

It is our mission to enrich the quality of life for Bath County citizens and businesses alike. In meeting this commitment, the Board of Supervisors pledges to work in partnership with the citizens of Bath County to achieve the following:

  • Provide for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens;
  • Foster pride in our community;
  • Develop a vibrant and diversified local economy;
  • Plan for the County’s future;
  • Preserve our rural character and heritage;
  • Preserve our natural environment; and,
  • Be good stewards of the public treasury today as well as tomorrow

Warm Springs is the county seat. There are five election districts within the county: Cedar Creek, Millboro, Warm Springs, Williamsville, and Valley Springs.

The County is governed by an elected Board of Supervisors, one from each of the five magisterial districts. Supervisors are elected for a four year term. The Board holds regular meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 115 of the courthouse in Warm Springs.

The County Administrator, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, manages the day-to-day county affairs. Duties include: general administration, personnel management and supervision of all county departments, budget preparation, funds management, purchasing, property management, compliance with laws, regulations and ordinances, coordination with independent agencies and the community, representing the Board at meetings and functions, and any and all other duties imposed by the Board and by law to facilitate the accomplishment of the work of county government.


Bath County Arts Association
P.O. Box 974
Hot Springs, VA  24445

Bath County Historical Society
Warm Springs, VA 24484

Garth Newel Music Center
P.O. Box 240
Warm Springs, VA 24484


Bath County Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 718
Main Street
Hot Springs, VA 24445


Bath County Schools
Warm Springs VA 24484



Bath County has E-911

Bath Community Hospital
P.O. Drawer Z
Hot Springs, VA 24445

Bath County Sheriff’s Department
(540) 839-2375

State Police (emergencies only)


Bath County Board of Supervisors
65 Courthouse Hill
PO Box 309
Warm Springs VA 24484


Bath County Public Library
P6 Courthouse Hill
PO Box 250
Warm Springs VA 24484


The Recorder Publishing Company
PO Box 10
Monterey VA 24465

WCHG-FM 107.1
Drawer G
Hot Springs VA


Bath County Office of Tourism
PO Box 309
65 Courthouse Hill
Warm Springs VA 24484

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