Reputedly the first place in the United States named for U.S. president George Washington, the community was originally called Heard's Fort after the family that settled it in 1773. The town was incorporated in 1805. Washington claims more antebellum homes than any other city of its size in Georgia. Among them is the home of Robert Toombs, former U.S. senator and Confederate cabinet officer, congressman, and general. The Toombs House dates from 1797 and is a state historic site. The Semmes-Colley house, built about 1838, was where the first Catholic Mass in Washington was celebrated, in 1853.
Also noteworthy is the Mary Willis Library, a unit of the Bartram Trail Regional Library System, housed in a building of Victorian architecture with a Tiffany
Other places of interest include six-acre Fort Washington Park, located just behind the courthouse on the approximate site of the original fort, and the Washington Historical Museum. The 2004 renovation and reopening of the Fitzpatrick Hotel on the square, originally built in 1898, was a catalyst for downtown revitalization, and tourism now plays a major role in the city's economy. Three-thousand-acre Callaway Plantation, about five miles outside Washington, is operated by the city as a historic restoration project. The Callaway manor house dates from 1869.
The Wilkes County School System operates four schools, all of them in Washington.
Robert M. Willingham Jr., The History of Wilkes County, Georgia (Washington, Ga.: Wilkes Publishing, 2002).
Robert M. Willingham Jr., Washington, Georgia (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Press, 2000).
Russell K. Brown, Grovetown
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