Explored in the late 1500s it was finally settled in 1690. James Bonner started the town on his own farm in the 1770s. After serving in the Continental Army, Bonner returned home and in 1776 renamed his town, originally called ''Forks of the Tar,'' for his commanding general, Washington. The town boasts that it is the ''original Washington.'' It was a major shipping port playing an important role in supplying the colonists when the British held Savannah, Charles Town and Wilmington under siege. Prized for its good waters it became a major commercial and cultural center for nearly a century.
Washington fell under Federal troop rule early during the War Between the States. When threatened, the union forces blew up their naval supplies, causing a fire that swept through the town destroying most of the early historic buildings. The war left the town devastated. Washington was rebuilt but suffered another fire in September 1900. Many of the present Victorian homes and shops now prized in the downtown area exhibit the determination of the citizens to once again rebuild. The downtown waterfront once a neglected warehouse and wharf area has had a facelift that continues today. Over thirty homes are listed in the ''Historic Washington Walking Tour'' guide. You can enjoy viewing churches, vintage homes of the late 1900s and churches.