The area currently known as Beaufort County was originally explored by the English in the late 1500s but was not settled until about a century later. Bath was founded in 1705 and became the first incorporated town in North Carolina. James Bonner started the town that is currently known as Washington on his farm in 1770. Originally, Washington was known as "Forks of the Tar," but the name was changed to Washington in 1776 to honor General George Washington.
Due to its favorable location and navigable waterway, Washington played a significant role in the Revolutionary War after more southern ports were blockaded by the British. This prominent location established Washington as a cultural center of the area and eventually led to it being chosen as the county seat of Beaufort County.
Washington was captured by federal troops early in the Civil War and, consequently, played a small part in that conflict. This occupation by federal troops left Washington largely in ashes as fires set by the fleeing Union forces to destroy their naval stores swept through the town. After rebuilding the town, fire again destroyed much of it in 1900.
A rebirth of Washington as a vacation and retirement destination that began in the late 60s with the construction of Stewart Parkway continues today. In addition to the docks and amenities along Stewart Parkway, the renovation of the shops, restaurants, theatre, etc. in the downtown area is an integral part of this renovation.
Boaters and golfers, as well as families looking for a temperate climate and the warm atmosphere of a small town, are finding Washington a wonderful location for their new homes. Washington also offers a somewhat unique situation in Eastern NC. With a population of about 10,000, we maintain the "Mayberry" small town feel but relish the advantage of being situated just 25 minutes from Greenville, the medical and cultural hub of eastern North Carolina. Many of our residents live in Washington, enjoying its slow, easy pace and the amenities of the Pamlico but commute to Greenville to work.
An exciting adventure awaits you in one of the best real estate opportunities on the east coast!! Become part of the adventure. Come and see what Washington has to offer. You will not want to leave!