"I think myself benefitted from the water and am not without hope of their making a cure for me - a little time will show now."
- George Washington, writing to the Rev. Charles Green from Warm Springs (now Berkeley Springs, W.Va.) on Aug. 26, 1761
For at least two of the nearly 30 sites along the Washington Heritage Trail in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, it's true to say "George Washington slept here." He also bathed in Berkeley Springs, owned land in and around the town, supported industry throughout the Panhandle - and documented his connections to the area then known as Western Virginia in dozens of letters, diary entries and other writings.
Washington's first visit to the westernmost edge of the Eastern Panhandle dates to March 1748, when the teenage surveyor and his party visited "ye fam'd warm springs" after the flooded Potomac River delayed their task of surveying the western limits of Lord Fairfax's lands. In 1750, Washington purchased as his first piece of property the Bullskin Run Plantation in Jefferson County, according to the Washington Heritage Trail Web site at www.washingtonheritagetrail.com. Washington and his sickly half-brother, Lawrence, also traveled in 1750 and 1751 to the then-wild area known as Warm Springs or Frederick Springs to soak in the 74.3-degree waters that flowed from the ground - and still do - at a rate of about 2,000 gallons per minute.