Video shows buildings lost in historic Berkeley Springs

by Trish Rudder

A 20-minute video produced by Zachary Salman called “Then & Now: Berkeley Springs, West Virginia” has been circulating locally, showing buildings that once stood in the town but are gone or altered.

Salman is a member of the Town of Bath Historic Landmarks Commission and advocates for more steps to save Berkeley Springs’ history by the preservation of its buildings.

Salman said recently that by seeing the town now, it’s hard to get a sense of what it looked like, and a lot of people don’t know.

“This video is to help people understand that many old historical buildings were destroyed and there has not been enough of a coordinated effort by the town to prevent unnecessary demolitions,” Salman said.

Some of the buildings deteriorated and had to be torn down, while others were lost to fire, like the Washington Hotel and several other downtown storefronts.

In 1986, a building called “Stoneleigh” — located on South Washington Street on the property where Citizens National Bank (CNB) is now — was demolished for a bank expansion.

William and Betty Lou Harmison sold Stoneleigh to CNB for the expansion, but family members said the two didn’t know it would be torn down.

Stoneleigh was torn down in 1986.

According to 1986 news articles, Stoneleigh was built in 1903 for Judge John M. Kennedy of Pittsburgh, Pa. as a summer home for the family.

“We have lost historic value which is evident by the many buildings that are no longer standing,” Salman said.

The video photos are from publications by Jeanne Mozier and Betty Lou Harmison’s “Images of Berkeley Springs” and from Fred Newbraugh’s collection in “Warm Springs Echoes.”

The video  can be found at (

Salman is a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School, received his B.A. in History, concentrating in historic preservation and public history, from Shepherd University. He is now in his last semester earning an M.S. in historic preservation from the University of Vermont.

The Historic Landmarks Commission continues to talk about effective ways to highlight the town’s history and help owners of historic properties.