Sunday, January 15, 2012


Try Berkeley Springs, West Virginia 

by Lillian Duncan—Guest Blogger

Many years ago, I worked for the Morgan County Schools which included Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, and Paw Paw, West Virginia for a short time. My career there as their Speech Pathologist didn’t work out, but I loved the area.
So, it wasn’t surprising when I decided to include it in my book, PURSUED. I wanted an area that was rural but still not too far from Washington DC—since one of my characters works for the government in an agency that will remain nameless. (I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you—read the book if that confuses you.) 
Berkeley Springs and surrounding area has it all—history, natural beauty, warm mineral springs, good neighbors, communes when I lived there in the 70s, near Washington, DC, and a castle!  

Yes, that’s what I said. Berkeley Springs has a castle. Built of local stone, the castle has 13 rooms plus a basement dungeon. The original owner known as Queen Rosa was evicted from it in the 1920s. Queen Rosa was known for her extravagance and outrageous parties—which certainly contributed to her eviction.
But the area has much more than castles to boast about. Some of the most famous warm mineral springs in the country are located there. And in fact, the original name of the town was Bath, the name given by George Washington and his cronies when they formed a town around the springs in 1776 (according to Berkeley Springs’ website).
But Berkeley Springs isn’t the only party in the county, so to speak. Take route 9 and you’ll end up at Great Cacapon located on Cacapon Mountain. National Geographic lists it as one of the top 5 panoramic views in the east. Having seen it in the fall, I promise you it is spectacular!
Keep going south on route 9 and you’ll eventually end up in Paw Paw. How can you not love a town called Paw Paw? I once got lost when I was working there and ended up in three different states before I found my way back to civilization.
I’m beginning to wonder why I ever left the area.
And then there’s the Apple Butter Festival.
To learn more about Lillian Duncan and her books, visit: To celebrate her newest book, DECEPTION, there is a contest with a NOOK as the grand prize. 
Click below to enter the contest. 


Molly Noble Bull said...

Good article, Lillian. I like your writing, and I would love to go there and see that castle.

Jeff Reynolds/Becky Reynolds said...

Very interesting, Liz. Thanks for sharing it. The castle sounds neat.


Teresa Slack said...

Lillian, you had me at Apple Butter Festival. Just kidding. I love these articles about choosing settings. Best part, Berkley Springs isn't that far from me. Anyone up for a road trip?