Working to Save the Pools

Friends of the Pools was formed for the purpose of protecting the structural, cultural and historic integrity of the Warm Springs Pools in Bath County, Virginia — the oldest spa structures in the United States.

Sound the trumpets! After a wait of almost two years, we are happy to announce that we have finally received the IRS approval of our application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as a public charity.

We are grateful to the IRS for providing us with more time and guidance as we revised our application to comply with the “rules.” Our original proposal was complicated by our inability to adequately answer questions about who would own the Pools, who would be responsible for their operations, and how admission revenues would be handled.

These issues went away when KSL sold The Homestead to Omni, since Omni has indicated that it will retain ownership of the Pools. Our job will now be to assist Omni in saving and restoring the Bath Houses. This permitted us to refashion our 501(c)(3) application to the goals of a broader-focused Preservation Bath. The text of our revised Part IV from our Form 1023 application is copied below for your reference.

We are also happy to announce that Phil Deemer and Lee Elliott, our President and Vice President, have a meeting scheduled later this month with the new manager of The Homestead, David Jurcak. We are looking forward to a positive and productive discussion.

Preservation Bath was founded in order to serve as a focal point for activities to preserve and protect historical properties and other assets in Bath County, Virginia. We are dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing the County’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. We are committed to the preservation of the built environment and its setting in order to protect and create an appreciation for the historic resources of the region.

The mission of Preservation Bath is to preserve, promote and serve as an advocate for the County’s irreplaceable historic places for cultural, economic and educational benefits of the public. Our mission is directly consistent with and supportive of Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia, benefiting our local community, the Commonwealth and the nation. Preservation is promoted by the protection and rehabilitation of historic buildings, sites, and neighborhoods, as well as the natural and created landscape, traditional routes, and open spaces.

We envision a Bath County that will be recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for preserving and promoting its distinctive historic structures, landscapes, collections, communities and archaeological sites—guided by the expert leadership, stewardship and advocacy of Preservation Bath.

Preservation Bath provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public by saving and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with the general public, other charitable organizations, and local, state, and national partners. These goals will also be promoted by cooperating with other non profit charitable organizations committed to the preservation and welfare of the community.

The past, present and planned activities of Preservation Bath are to:

  • promote greater public awareness of and advocate for historic preservation in the region;
  • protect the historic resources of the region;
  • sponsor educational tours and programs that encourage public participation in the preservation, restoration, and ownership of historic and archaeological sites, buildings and structures, and landscapes significant to the cultural, social and architectural history of the region;
  • work with County officials and local businesses to promote heritage tourism of historic sites;
  • support and initiate local projects, partnerships, and studies that help to identify and protect important community historic resources; and
  • monitor local and state government actions on issues affecting preservation of historical, cultural, and natural resources.

These activities have, are and will continue to be conducted by Preservation Bath in Bath County, Virginia. By conducting the foregoing activities our exempt purposes will be furthered by educating the public about the significance of the community’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage, ensuring that historic places remain an integral part of the lives of present and future generations.