Preservation Bath shares Progress on HD

It appears wheels are in motion for Warm Springs to continue getting some of the attention it’s always had for its historic significance, and to increase it too with an additional designation, if awarded. Over the past few years Preservation Bath worked to educate and inform residents about the steps for the little village to become a National Historic District.   Phil Deemer, and Lee Elliot of Preservation Bath spoke with Allegheny Mountain Radio about that process first.

“The contract that will be issued by the Department of Historical Resources, that’s the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, will ask the contractor to prepare the survey, and also prepare the application for the designation.”

All that data gathering happens before any determination is made about a designation.

Phil Deemer continued,

“What we hope to then do after that is to submit an application for the Warm Springs general village area, including West Warm Springs to be designated as a National Historic District, which is an honor, first of all, let’s understand that.”

Mr. Deemer mentioned how accentuating the historic nature of places draws in visitors with a particular interest in pioneer, and later farm and resort life, in these mountains.

What else does an historic district designation give to local businesses and the communities they serve?

“The opportunity to get some tax credits to help, and basically protect and preserve

what is a wonderful spot in the country, much less Bath County.”

Lee Elliot, also from Preservation Bath envisions another, if less less tangible result from becoming a National Historic District.

“I think it gives the whole community a sense of identity. It’s not just Warm Springs. It’s a very valuable thing for the entire county. It generates interest in historic preservation when people start to look at their own villages, and see how unique they are. And so, I think this will ultimately be something that will be a great thing for the entire county, and people will be extremely pleased.”

None of this is to be confused with an update, or revision, on the Historic Landmark status of the Pools themselves in Warm Springs. A public hearing was held Monday evening to provide information about that process which happens to be underway now too. From a notice Preservation Bath also shared with AMR.

“The original application for the Landmarks Register, submitted in 1969, contained six short paragraphs describing the significance of the Pools.  The hearing on Monday night was to look at an updated and expanded nomination for the Pools as a Virginia landmark.  The nomination provides a very detailed history of the Pools property and expands the boundaries of the current historic designation to include the old cottage row of the Warm Springs Hotel.  The Board of Historic Resources and the State Review Board are expected to act on the nomination at their joint meetings in September.  The hearing Monday was to explain the proposal and to answer any questions.”

Some may argue the next step there is to make the Pools presentable for encouraging visitors.

Representatives from The Department of Historic Resources will be returning again on November 10th, to talk with county government and residents about the district nomination. Again Phil Deemer, “It’s an opportunity for the county, and by that I mean the County government, and probably most specially supervisor Purdue to introduce to his constituency to the contractor.” For more information about Preservations Bath’s annual awards and lecture coming in October, please stay tuned to AMR.


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.

Current Weather