BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — George Washington discovered the “curative powers” of the warm springs here when, at the age of 16, he was a member of a survey party checking out the scenic land claimed by his mentor, British nobleman Lord Fairfax.
Later he bought property here, as did other Revolutionary War generals, Continental Congressmen and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
And the town has been a popular health resort since.
“We like to say we have more licensed massage therapists than we have lawyers,” chuckled Jeanne Mozier, vice president of the Travel Berkeley Springs convention and visitors board.
The public baths in the Berkeley Springs State Park in the town’s center are open year-around, and the population of this community of about 5,000 permanent residents particularly swells when the weather warms.
It doesn’t hurt that Route 522 through here is a shortcut from central and western Pennsylvania to many points south of Washington, D.C. And it’s only a 90-minute drive from Altoona.
“At least a third of the people who end up visiting us say they’ve driven through several times and always wanted to stop,” Mozier said.