Berkeley Springs State Park
|Berkeley Springs State Park|
|West Virginia State Park|
|Elevation||617 ft (188.1 m)|
|Area||7 acres (2.8 ha) |
|Owner||West Virginia Division of Natural Resources|
|Nearest city||Berkeley Springs, West Virginia|
|Website: Berkeley Springs State Park|
Berkeley Springs State Park
|Location||S. Washington and Fairfax Sts., Berkeley Springs, West Virginia|
|Area||5 acres (2.0 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||76001943|
|Added to NRHP||May 24, 1976|
Berkeley Springs State Park is situated in the center of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, USA. The centerpiece of the Park is its historic mineral spa. These waters were celebrated for their medicinal or restorative powers and were generally taken internally for digestive disorders, or bathed in for stress relief. Native peoples visited these springs as did George Washington. Berkeley Springs is the only state-run spa in the United States and is operated by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
The Park is located on land which has been used as a health resort since the 1750s and which was officially granted to Virginia by Lord Fairfax in 1776. The historic Roman Bathhouse, the oldest public building in Berkeley Springs, was built in Federal-style architecture in 1815 on the site of an earlier bathhouse attributed to James Rumsey. The earlier bathhouse, built in 1784, is described as having had five bathing chambers and dressing rooms.
Water flows from natural mineral springs at a constant temperature of 74.3 degrees, emerging from the Oriskany (Ridgeley) sandstone of Warm Springs Ridge. It contains significant amounts of sulfates, nitrates, and carbonates -- mostly magnesium carbonates. The flow rate varies from 750 to 2,000 US gallons (2,800 to 7,600 L) per minute.
The water is available for bathing at two park bathhouses and for drinking from a fountain at the 19th century Gentlemen's Spring House — as well as from every tap in town since the springs serve as the source of the municipal water supply. The current bathhouse includes nine separate bathing chambers with tubs capable of holding a total 750 gallons of water heated to 102 degrees. These baths are open to the public daily throughout the year and water is also bottled and sold commercially.
The Museum of the Berkeley Springs is located on the second floor of the bathhouse. Established in 1984, it exhibits various historical items of natural and cultural significance to the springs and town. Admission is free, and the museum is open at least on weekends from March through December.
"Bathtub" used by George Washington
- List of Registered Historic Places in West Virginia
- List of West Virginia state parks
- Warm Spring Run
- West Virginia State Parks Facilities Grid, accessed March 29, 2008
- Where People and Nature Meet: A History of the West Virginia State Parks. Charleston, West Virginia: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. April 1988. ISBN 0-933126-91-3.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
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