Bath County Courthouse in Warm Springs
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Bath, England|
|Largest community||Hot Springs|
|• Total||535 sq mi (1,390 km2)|
|• Land||529 sq mi (1,370 km2)|
|• Water||5 sq mi (10 km2) 1.0%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||8.4/sq mi (3.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Bath County is a United States county on the central western border of the Commonwealth of Virginia, on the West Virginia state line. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,731. In 2018, the population was estimated at 4,292; it is the second-least populous county in Virginia. Bath's county seat is Warm Springs.
History and economy
Bath County was created on December 14, 1790, from parts of Augusta, Botetourt, and Greenbrier counties. Due to the many mineral springs found in the area, the county was named for the English spa and resort city of Bath.
Like its namesake, Bath County's economy is focused on tourism and recreation. The county's major employer is The Omni Homestead, a resort and historic hotel built in 1766 as "The Homestead" in Hot Springs. Additional recreational opportunities are provided by camping and fishing at Lake Moomaw in the southern part of the county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 535 square miles (1,390 km2), of which 529 square miles (1,370 km2) are land and 5 square miles (13 km2) (1.0%) are water. 89% of Bath County is forest, with 51% in George Washington National Forest and 6% in Douthat State Park. The Nature Conservancy owns more than 9,000 acres (36 km2) of forest habitat in the county.
Located along the western central border with West Virginia, Bath County contains a number of villages, including Hot Springs, Warm Springs, Millboro and Mountain Grove. Hot Springs and Warm Springs are the most well known of the villages, given their natural mineral springs. Bath County is the only county in Virginia without a traffic signal.
- Highland County – north
- Augusta County – northeast
- Rockbridge County – east
- Alleghany County – south
- Greenbrier County, West Virginia – southwest
- Pocahontas County, West Virginia – west
National protected areas
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,048 people, 2,053 households, and 1,451 families residing in the county. The population density was 10 people per square mile (4/km2). There were 2,896 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.29% White, 6.28% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. 0.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,053 households, out of which 28.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.80.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.00% under the age of 18, 5.50% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 28.50% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 100.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,013, and the median income for a family was $41,276. Males had a median income of $30,238 versus $21,974 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,092. 7.80% of the population and 5.80% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 5.40% are under the age of 18 and 12.90% are 65 or older.
Board of Supervisors
- Cedar Creek district: Ron Shifflett (I)
- Millboro district: Eddy T. Hicklin (I)
- Valley Springs district: H. Lee Fry (I)
- Warm Springs district: Roy W. Burns (I)
- Williamsville district: Thomas S. Burns (I)
- Clerk of the Circuit Court: Annette T. Loan (I)
- Commissioner of the Revenue: Angel M. Grimm (I)
- Commonwealth's Attorney: John C. Singleton (I)
- Sheriff: Robert W. Plecker (I)
- Treasurer: Pam Webb (I)
Bath County is represented by Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia Senate, Republican Ronnie R. Campbell in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Ben Cline in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The resort grew around the area's mineral springs, such as the Jefferson Pools. (As of July 1, 2018, the Jefferson Pools have been closed by the resort. The pools are anticipated to reopen once the safety of their surrounding structures is verified.)
The county has two elementary schools (serving students from pre-kindergarten to seventh grade) and one high school (serving students in grades 8 through 12). Around 555 students are enrolled in the school system.
Other unincorporated communities
- Creigh Deeds, Virginia Senator (25th District)
- Jailyn Ford, NPF pitcher
- Dan Ingalls, computer scientist, president of the Homestead
- John Phillips, NFL tight end
- Sam Snead, professional golfer
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- Layman, Sara (1987-10-22). "Homestead's New President Plans Emphasis on Tradition, Service". The Recorder. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
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