Town of Bath receives historic survey grant

March 07, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Town of Bath Historic Landmark Commission recently was awarded an $8,000 grant from the West Virginia Archives and History Commission to assist with an architectural survey of the town.

Nancy Harvey, who serves on the Bath Town Council and chairs the Ordinance Committee, has been working on preserving the town's history and applied for the grant last year.

There are several Bath properties that have historical value, Harvey said.

"One that we know even dates back to the Revolutionary War," she said.

Harvey said she will meet with someone from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston, W.Va., on March 20 to receive specific directions to assist the Bath commission in administering the grant.

Harvey said a proposal must be written to accept bids for historical surveying in the town to determine if the historic sites and properties fit the criteria.


Once that is established, the sites and properties can be included on the National Register of Historic Places, she said.

"I hope to start with the 131 lots that were laid out in 1777," she said. Bath officially became a town in 1776, Harvey said.

"The buildings in the Berkeley Springs State Park are on the list as well as several homes around Bath. The Old English and Dutch cemeteries may have Revolutionary War soldiers buried there," she said.

According to historical documents, a 16-year-old George Washington was a member of Lord Fairfax's surveying party and camped here in 1748. Fairfax owned the land on which Bath was built, Harvey said.

Harvey said she was told by Chris Knorr of the Charleston Cultural Center that properties dated up to 1941 are considered historic.

"This is a start of a process to identify and preserve our past, and we need to educate our citizens and solicit their ideas for future preservation activities," Harvey said.

Harvey is a member of the Morgan County Historical Society and helped compile the book, "Glimpse of Our Heroes," which features 22 Morgan County veterans who served their country during war.

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