Bath County
Bath County Courthouse in Warm Springs
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°04′N 79°44′W / 38.06°N 79.74°W / 38.06; -79.74
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1790
Named forBath, England
SeatWarm Springs
Largest communityHot Springs
Area
 • Total535 sq mi (1,390 km2)
 • Land529 sq mi (1,370 km2)
 • Water5 sq mi (10 km2)  1.0%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total4,209
 • Density7.9/sq mi (3.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district6th
Websitewww.bathcountyva.org

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 2020 census, the population was 4,209,[1] the second-least populous county in Virginia. Bath's county seat is Warm Springs.[2]

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.[3] In the early 1700s, before the county was formed, the area that subsequently became Bath County was settled by immigrants from England. The families who settled in what has since become Bath County came to Virginia from the English regions of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, the western portion of Sussex, Dorset, Somerset, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, Kent and Lincolnshire. This was notable because much of Shenandoah Valley region was settled by Scots-Irish immigrants and German farmers, both of whom were moving southward from Pennsylvania, whereas by contrast, what has since become Bath County was almost exclusively English.[4] By the year 1800, Bath County was exclusively inhabited by first generation English immigrants and their Virginia-born children.[5] This population was mostly subsistence farmers, though some were also artisans and smaller amounts were shopkeeprs.[6]

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.[7] Additional recreational opportunities are provided by camping and fishing at Lake Moomaw in the southern part of the county.

Geography

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.[8] 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.[7]

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.

Adjacent counties

Warm Springs Valley
Warm Springs Valley

National protected areas

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18005,508
18104,837−12.2%
18205,2378.3%
18304,002−23.6%
18404,3007.4%
18503,486−18.9%
18603,6765.5%
18703,7953.2%
18804,48218.1%
18904,5872.3%
19005,59522.0%
19106,53816.9%
19206,389−2.3%
19308,13727.4%
19407,191−11.6%
19506,296−12.4%
19605,335−15.3%
19705,192−2.7%
19805,86012.9%
19904,799−18.1%
20005,0485.2%
20104,731−6.3%
20204,209−11.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010[13] 2020[14]

2020 census

Bath County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[14] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 4,363 3,941 92.22% 91.26%
Black or African American alone (NH) 213 114 4.50% 2.71%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 5 3 0.11% 0.07%
Asian alone (NH) 7 17 0.15% 0.40%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 1 0.00% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 5 4 0.11% 0.10%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 37 156 0.78% 3.71%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 101 73 2.13% 1.73%
Total 4,731 4,209 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2000 Census

As of the census[15] 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.

Government

Board of Supervisors

Constitutional officers

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.

Politics

United States presidential election results for Bath County, Virginia[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,834 73.33% 646 25.83% 21 0.84%
2016 1,548 68.71% 603 26.76% 102 4.53%
2012 1,274 57.31% 894 40.22% 55 2.47%
2008 1,349 55.47% 1,043 42.89% 40 1.64%
2004 1,432 62.75% 828 36.28% 22 0.96%
2000 1,311 59.32% 822 37.19% 77 3.48%
1996 847 41.30% 922 44.95% 282 13.75%
1992 1,075 46.14% 855 36.70% 400 17.17%
1988 1,273 58.74% 881 40.66% 13 0.60%
1984 1,434 65.93% 727 33.43% 14 0.64%
1980 921 45.89% 999 49.78% 87 4.33%
1976 888 45.96% 1,029 53.26% 15 0.78%
1972 1,127 68.89% 462 28.24% 47 2.87%
1968 872 45.97% 494 26.04% 531 27.99%
1964 516 40.12% 770 59.88% 0 0.00%
1960 646 50.59% 629 49.26% 2 0.16%
1956 739 58.47% 479 37.90% 46 3.64%
1952 765 62.65% 451 36.94% 5 0.41%
1948 488 52.03% 375 39.98% 75 8.00%
1944 504 46.28% 581 53.35% 4 0.37%
1940 527 45.31% 630 54.17% 6 0.52%
1936 514 45.49% 614 54.34% 2 0.18%
1932 384 38.71% 594 59.88% 14 1.41%
1928 731 64.12% 409 35.88% 0 0.00%
1924 407 48.74% 404 48.38% 24 2.87%
1920 362 50.99% 343 48.31% 5 0.70%
1916 219 35.78% 387 63.24% 6 0.98%
1912 159 29.23% 329 60.48% 56 10.29%


Economy

Tourism and recreation have been the focus of the economy from the time the county was established.[7] The Omni Homestead, a luxury mountain resort in Hot Springs, is the county's major employer.

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.)

Bath County is also home to the Bath County Pumped Storage Station, a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant.

Education

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.[17]

Communities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bath County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Salmon, edited by Emily J.; Jr, Edward D.C. Campbell (1994). The Hornbook of Virginia History : A Ready-Reference Guide to the Old Dominion's People, Places, and Past (4th ed.). Richmond: Library of Virginia. p. 161. ISBN 0884901777. ((cite book)): |first1= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ A Brief History of Bath County, Virginia by Jean Graham McAllister pg. 19
  5. ^ A Brief History of Bath County, Virginia by Jean Graham McAllister pg. 28
  6. ^ A Brief History of Bath County, Virginia by Jean Graham McAllister pg. 29
  7. ^ a b c "About Bath County". County of Bath, Virginia. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Bath County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Bath County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  17. ^ Virginia Department of Education. "Fall Membership Data". Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  18. ^ Layman, Sara (October 22, 1987). "Homestead's New President Plans Emphasis on Tradition, Service". The Recorder. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  19. ^ Oxendine, Margo (December 17, 1993). "Growing up at The Homestead". The Recorder. Retrieved February 2, 2019.

Coordinates: 38°04′N 79°44′W / 38.06°N 79.74°W / 38.06; -79.74