Bath County Historical Society plans expansion

The Bath County Historical Society is growing.  With more items coming in on a regular basis, more space is needed along with more money to create that space.  The proposed expansion for the building will not only provide space for the historical society’s use, but for others in the community as well.

Richard Armstrong is the President of the Bath County Historical Society.

“We plan to build on 762 square feet of space to the end of our existing building, which will in essence double the size of the more recent part of the historical society,” says Armstrong.  “And upstairs have an open format where we can have workshops, meetings, a conference room for use by the community and other groups that’d like to come through.  The basement area will be a storage area and a work space.  And we’ll have a vault installed to protect the more valuable pieces while they’re not on display.”

It’s estimated that $180,000 is needed for the expansion. Armstrong says that currently the historical society has about $80,000 earmarked for the project.

“It’s all going to hinge on fundraising,” says Armstrong.  “And we’re also going to ask for grants.  This winter we will work on grant proposals to various organizations that helped contribute to the existing building and see if we can get that at least started maybe by next fall.”

The historical society opened a new exhibit about a year ago, a Veterans Room.

“It’s dedicated to the preservation and display of anything military for Bath County since 1791, wartime, peacetime, anytime,” says Armstrong.  “If someone from Bath County served in the military, we want to record that.  If someone moved to the community and spent twenty years here and served in the military, we want to know that.  If they’re anyway associated with Bath County we try to preserve their military record.  We are adding slowly bits and pieces of letters that were written by a local man, that his wife lived in Bath County during World War II, and Walter Cosby was his name.  But we’re interested in copies of letters, diaries, photographs, anything to do with World War II particularly, but not limited to that.”

The Bath County Historical Society is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4pm.

An Open House is scheduled for Sunday, November 9, from 2 until 5.    After the Open House the historical society will be open by appointment only during the winter months.

The Bath County Historical Society is located in Warm Springs on Courthouse Hill Road.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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