The town of Bath/Berkeley Springs
Bath has just about 600 residents, many employed in the local service industry while others work at the large US Silica plant. The town's most famous feature is the mineral bath, that is now part of a state park; even Washington is said to have bathed here. Because of the baths, the town has a number of inns and hotels to keep guests. The town's two main streets, Washington and Fairfax, are named after our first President and his pal Lord Fairfax. Washington himself was both a guest, then a landowner here, with a plaque marking the two lots he purchased in 1777.
Berkeley Springs Farmers Market
Berkeley Springs has a farmers market in downtown at the intersection of Washington and Fairfax Streets. From spring through fall, the market is held on Sundays from 10am to 2pm. In the summer there is a second farmers market in the same location on Thursdays from 2pm to 5pm.
The market started in 2002 with just three vendors, though it boasts 18 regular vendors today.
US Silica's headquarters is located in Berkeley Springs. They claim to be "The leading producer of high quality ground and unground silica sand, kaolin clay, aplite and related industrial minerals." Besides Berkeley Springs, the company has 13 other locations in the eastern half of the US.
Silica is found in sand and quartz, and it is a main ingredient in glass and concrete.
According to Wikipedia, kaolin is used in ceramics, medicine, coated paper, as a food additive, in toothpaste, as a light diffusing material in white incandescent light bulbs, and in cosmetics. It is generally the main component in porcelain.
Sand Storage Bin
This structure confused me when I first saw it, but I finally figured it out. A photo on Wikipedia said it was an aqueduct, but if it was an aqueduct why would it be here, no where near a canal?
Finally the Berkeley Springs dot com website pointed me in the right direction... this was the town's Sand Storage Bin! Their website gives the following description, "It is a remnant of the early sand mining days, used by Berkeley Glass Sand (now U.S. Silica) as a storage bin for processed sand then loaded into railroad cars. "
US Silica still exists, though with a much larger operation, just a few miles up the road.
Berkeley Springs & Potomac Railroad Station
Along Washington Street in central Berkeley Springs is an old abandoned railroad station. This building was the terminus of the Berkeley Springs & Potomac Railroad, which ran from the town to Alpine Station near Hancock, WV; from there it connected to the Baltimore and Ohio mainline.
The tracks were completed and the first train ran in 1888. Passenger service lasted just until 1932, though the rail line was used for cargo until 1991. In 1996 the railroad tracks were removed.
The existing station building was built in 1914 to replace the original station.
Berkeley Springs State Park
The Berekely Springs State Park offers spa treatments at a really reasonable rate. My Mom, Sister & I took a girls trip down there and it was really nice. But, it's a state park and there really aren't any thrills or upscale amenities. But, if you're looking for a good place to get a roman or relaxing bath, 30-minute massage & shower for under $50, this is the spot.
The spa is divided in half with the mens on one side & the ladies on the other. The relaxing baths are somewhat private and there's 3 in a row, all with curtains for privacy. The massage tables are directly across from the baths. I enjoyed it and will go back sometime in the future.
After your spa, check out the 1 Market Street American Grill & all the shops in Berekley Springs.
Berkeley Springs State Park Spa
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Country Inn at Berkeley Springs
The Country Inn, originally the Park Inn Hotel, was built in 1933 on the site of a previous Berkeley Springs hotel called the Berkeley Hotel.
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