European settlement near the Pamlico River in the 1690s led to the creation of Bath, North Carolina's first town, in 1705. The town's location seemed ideal with easy access to the river and the Atlantic Ocean 50 miles away at Ocracoke Inlet. By the turn of the century, Bath had improved land transportation. Waterborne activities also increased as several large sawmills were operated nearby.
Bath still remains a small village. Restoration efforts in Bath have saved the St. Thomas Church, the Palmer-Marsh House, Van Der Veer House (ca. 1790), and the Bonner House (ca. 1830). The original town limits are the boundaries for a National Register historic district.