About Bath County
Bath County was named for its natural springs. The estimated population in 2004 was 11,538. This was an increase of 4.09% from the 2000 census. Bath County is situated strategically on Interstate 64 at the gateway to Kentucky's beautiful Bluegrass Region and the county seat is Owingsville. The first known settlers to Bath County arrived around 1774. Settlers were pleased with the area because of the abundance of food via animals to hunt, all due to having "licks."
A "lick" is where a mineral originates from the ground and saturates the soil or collects as deposits. Animals crave this mineral and would eventually herd to these places within the area of Salt Lick. It was once stated that a couple of hunters had seen a herd of approximately 500 buffalo at a "lick."
With more settlers to move into the area, the animals began to move out, as goes the cycle of civilization. In the late 1800's the railroad was built. Lumbering quickly became the area’s industry. Bath County is in the Appalachian Mountains where chestnut, pine, oak, poplar, walnut, hickory and cherry trees grew. But, as the industry was depleting, obviously as it would in time with the hardwoods, the population did as well in the 1930's. The only lumber to be found now may be white oak and scrub pine. As for the railroad, 1985 was the last time a train rumbled through the quaint town of Salt Lick.