Preservation Bath awards annual Prizes

On Sunday October 3rd Preservation Bath and the Bath County Historical Society welcomed a large group to the Dairy Barn in Warm Springs. Two speakers addressed the importance of both history and conservation of cultural resources, and specifically the historic structures report on the Warm Springs Pools. Attendees learned before it was ever chartered Warm Springs was known as Bathville. Architectural historian, Gibson Worsham, also shared drawings, and documents of recollections, that give those interested in saving and restoring the bathhouses images to work with.

Preservation Bath Board member, Danny Cardwell introduced, the second speaker, Director of Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources.

“Every generation of Bath Countians, whether you’ve been here fifty years, or you’ve only lived here a few years, every person has a commitment and almost a responsibility to preserve what’s best in our history.”

Julie Langan then spoke about the value of surveying, not just to establish an historic district, but to learn as much as possible about significant existing structures.

“I would think that any community that doesn’t have a sense of what its historic resources are, and where they’re located, and which are most important, is at a real disadvantage planning for its future.”

The annual awards followed the two speakers.

Jay and Claudia Trinca were presented with the Legacy Award for their efforts to restore Old Webb’s Store in Warm Springs serve as an inspiration to others. After their purchase of the property in 2006, Mr. and Mrs. Trinca identified the remains of the original store. Everything except the original store was demolished. The structure was essentially a shell sitting on the ground because approximately half of the floor joists had rotted. The Trinca’s replaced the joists, stabilized the building, jacked t off the ground and set it on a footing. The building is now a model for the before and after of saving an historic building.”

Kent Daugherty and John Airgood of Natural Retreats accepted the Legacy Award, which honored the Old Dairy Complex in Warm Springs. Built in 1928 the Old Dairy Barn and related buildings served all the needs of the Homestead Resort in nearby Hot Springs. Because train service to the area was unpredictable the Homestead maintained many of its own food producing operations including the Dairy. Abandoned for three decades the Old Dairy Complex is reliving its glory days. Several original structures and silos were saved and remain a part of the complex. These are the Main Barn, the Calf Barn, the Holstein Barn, the Gurnsey Barn, the Milk House, the Bull Barn, and Herdsman’s Cottage. The old Dairy was registered on the National Register of Historic Places, in 2007, and was also named a Virginia Historic Landmark.”

Perlista Henry was awarded the Preservation Activist award.

“She has gone above and beyond when it comes to preserving historic documents and passing down an oral of Bath County. She is a member of the Bath County Historical Society and is respected by her peers in historical and preservation circles. Ms. Henry is widely recognized for her efforts to preserve the history of John Wesley United Methodist Church, and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, both in Warm Springs. She has established a comprehensive genealogy of the past members of those congregations. In addition Ms. Henry worked with a group of alumni from the Rosenwald Schools to get historic markers erected to commemorate these schools.

With appreciation to Preservation Bath for the descriptions in this report.


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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