Senator Robert Byrd fiddling at Apple Butter Festival

A Tradition of Arts & Culture

In Berkeley Springs today art, culture and history are routinely part of daily life, considered essential for the community's well being. There is an award-winning arts council, several galleries and a community of more than 125 working artists, musicians and authors with more settling here daily. Berkeley Springs is reliably listed as one of the top art towns in America in books and national magazines. It is West Virginia's first certified arts town.

The lively arts and culture scene includes a vintage movie theater, history museum, active historical society, public library, quilt group and several community performance organizations including a concert band, choir and theater group. The Morgan County schools are committed to arts education, there are afterschool and adult art classes and live local music is available year ‘round. The award-winning Morgan Arts Council produces gallery shows and Artwalks. Local artists stage two studio tours a year, in spring and fall.

Berkeley Springs draws on arts and culture from its past. In the 18th century, Berkeley Springs (officially named Bath) was the new country’s only fashionable spa town. Traveling preachers complained that those taking the waters preferred touring actors.

David Hunter Strother, known as Porte Crayon was an outstanding 19th century sketch artist and one of America’s first travel writers. He owned the 500-room Berkeley Springs Hotel and entertained other writers including the great American author Washington Irving who visited Berkeley Springs and was introduced to lawn bowling.

Cottagers and hotel guests in Victorian Berkeley Springs enjoyed professional bands and often staged amateur theatricals. An Opera House was built in 1902 and movies were first shown there in 1909.

The spa town’s history has always been an alluring topic for study. Read more about local history in the Walking Tour of Berkeley Springs, Treasure Tour of Berkeley Springs State Park and the Washington Heritage Trail in Morgan County or visit it in person at the Museum of the Berkeley Springs.

See how Berkeley Springs art meets science...Frog Valley Artisans

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