AN ADVENTURE WORTHWHILE
BATH COUNTY, KENTUCKY
WELCOME TO BATH COUNTY!
Founded in 1811, Bath County is named for its mineral and medicinal springs. The famous Olympian Springs resort was a popular summer getaway visited for its beautiful scenery and supposed healing waters. Travelers from across the country journeyed to the Bluegrass State to bathe in the springs’ mineral waters. The area was also well known for its rich iron ore deposits that attracted the attention of wealthy businessmen. Bath County iron foundries supplied Kentucky and Tennessee with the much needed commodity during their early years.
Thomas Deye Owings, a Maryland native, moved to the area in 1800 after his father purchased an iron foundry. Owings eventually became the owner of Bourbon Iron Works and was one of the only ironmasters in the state. The town of Owingsville, which was named for the influential industrialist, was made the county seat in 1811.
Bath County also claims several other notable historical figures, including Confederate General John Bell Hood and antebellum politician Richard H. Menefee. Hood was born near Owingsville in 1831. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, Hood served in the army, mainly on the Texas frontier. In 1861, Hood resigned his officer’s position and joined the Confederacy. A fierce fighter and leader, Hood lost the use of his arm at Gettysburg and lost his leg at the Battle of Chickamauga. He retired to New Orleans after the war and died of yellow fever in 1879.
Railroad and interstate highway communication have produced some industrial activity in Bath County, but the area has retained much of its rural setting and agricultural economic ties. Long gone are Olympian Springs Hotel and the once flourishing iron industries, but the natural beauty of the hills and mountains of Bath County remain a pleasant constant.
Bath County was established in 1811 from land given by Montgomery County, Kentucky making it the 56th County formed. Its name is derived from its
natural springs said to have medicinal qualities.
CAVE RUN LAKE
Cave Run Lake is an 8,270-acre lake nestled in the beautiful mountains of eastern Kentucky. Built for flood protection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it offers habitat for many species of fish and wildlife. Lake visitors will find many opportunities for relaxation and fun. Boating, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, wildlife viewing, and visiting historical sites are a few of the many activities visitors enjoy.
Bath County is rich in historic monuments. The beautiful Iron Furnaces, majestic Cave Run Lake, and wonderful original Courthouse are all examples of the heritage that Bath County holds dear.