Bath Historical Society helps Community celebrate 225th anniversary

It’s a big year for anniversaries in Bath County. The Homestead is celebrating its’ 200th, the hospital will mark it’s 100th, and whole county is having a 225th birthday.

To draw attention to the rich past of the settlers in these mountains the Bath County Historical Society opened its celebration with historic homes tours of old houses and Windy Cove Presbyterian Church. Those home were Kim and Paul Lancaster’s house in Millboro Springs, Timmy and Fern Plecker’s home, River Uplands, and Sittlington House. In the fall, several homes on the Western side of Warm Springs Mountain will be opened for tours. Pam Webb, the Historical Society’s treasurer, shared why these homes, and the Old Fashioned Day to be held June 4th in Warm Springs, are important.

“One of our biggest things that we are trying to promote is the history of Bath County, to make people more aware of the history of Bath County, as well as try to get people involved in preserving that history, and also get people into the Bath county Historical Society, the museum, get them interested in that. Get more traffic through the museum to see what all we do have, that has been made available to us, and make sure that this heritage of ours is preserved throughout the years to come. Especially in our youth; I don’t think that it’s taught, Bath County History is taught to our students anymore, so you know, we want to make people more aware, and get them more involved. And make sure our history and our heritage is preserved.”

To help all of us, neighbors and visitors alike, imagine what life might have been like two hundred and twenty-five years ago, the Historical Society is using a day to bring to life some ordinary skills and tastes from that era when Warm Springs was a distant frontier for most Americans.

Pam Webb described what to expect.

“Our Old Fashion Day Festival is scheduled for June the Fourth. It will be in downtown Warm Springs area here at the courthouse, and then on down where the Post office and the Gristmill is. It is from 10am to three pm that day. And basically it is taking a walk back in time. You can walk around the grounds. There will be several different vendors, food. We’ll also have music throughout the whole day, clogging. And basically it’s taking a walk back into historic Warm Springs.”

To make walking and browsing safe for everyone, cars will be parked at the School Administration Building, the Park and Ride on Route 220, and near the Pools. Buses will shuttle festival-goers in a loop through the various parking areas, and back to the village.

Pam continued.

“There will a quilt show going on at the library, and the Bath County Historical Society will be open during that day.   We also have some folks that are coming from the Frontier Museum in Staunton. They will be doing live demonstrations that people can participate in, some of the old crafts that were done back in 1791. So, people will have the opportunity to not only just view, but they can participate. There will be some of the children’s games that will be related to that time period, and that era. We have several different things that will be happening. People will be able to set in rocking chairs, view some of the antiques that would be from that era. We hope to have stocks at the jail, as well as some different old, I guess things that have passed away over time, like butter making, broom making, people that constructed walking sticks, spinning yarn on spinning wheels, crosscut saw, sack races for the kids, storyteller.”

And if all of that sounds too simple, and low tech, the Anniversary Committee knows how to make sure children have some modern day fun too,

“We do have, for the kids, we do have a bouncy house.”

For information about the 225th anniversary celebration, or specifically the Old Fashion Day festival contact the Bath County Historical Society at 839-2543.




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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