Washington, Iowa
   One of the Best 100 Small Towns in America

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Welcome to Washington

Welcome to Washington, "The City of Flowers & Trees," and "One of the Best Small Towns in America. " Washington is centrally located in Southeast Iowa, 30 minutes south of Iowa City/Coralville. With a population of 7100, Washington is the county seat of Washington County, one of the leading hog producing areas in the nation (and a national leader in corn, soybean and beef production).

The history of Washington begins in 1835 when the area was opened for settlement after treaties with the Sac & Fox Indians. At its first inception, the town of Washington was known as Slaughter, named for the Secretary of Wise Territory. Most townspeople did not like the name, however, and successfully lobbied to get it changed. On January 25, 1839, Slaughter was officially renamed Washington in honor of George Washington. The first settler of the community was Joseph Adams, who built a cabin and blacksmith shop one block south of what is now the southeast corner of our town square and the town grew from there.

History lives on in some of our community's homes, buildings, and landmarks. Washington is home to several vintage houses and buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The most recognizable image of our town, the Centennial Fountain, was constructed and dedicated in 1939 for Washington's Centennial Celebration. It is the only fountain of its type in the continental United States and was refurbished in 1995 by a group of local citizens. It features a multi-colored light show and is the focus of Central Park in downtown Washington. Central Park is surrounded by a square filled with unique retail, professional offices, and service businesses, and plays host to many of Washington's special events throughout the year.

Not only does our community have many historical attractions to offer, but it has three times been named "One of the Best Small Towns in America." Washington has maintained comfortable growth and development for over three decades. Our strong economy can be seen in the commercial ventures, growing health care, expanding manufacturing operations, stable retail base, professional services, and our excellent education system. This steady growth has helped Washington maintain its friendly family focus.

Copyright � 2001 Washington Area Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved

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