Washington served as a federal supply outpost during the Revolutionary War.
Twice Washington has rebuilt after devastating fires destroyed many of the city's early homes and waterfront business district. The first fires occurred during the Civil War and the second in 1900.
Washington is home to one of the largest commercial and residential historic districts in North Carolina featuring Victorian era homes and commercial buildings. Several ante-bellum structures survived the fires of 1864 and 1900.
Among the famous citizens and personalities who have called Washington home are film producer Cecil B. DeMille (The Ten Commandments), actor Murray Hamilton (The Graduate, Jaws), journalist Charles Kuralt, U.S. Congressman and first U.S. Comptroller General Lindsay Warren, U.S. Congressman Herbert Bonner, Governor Daniel Fowle, publishing magnate and diplomat Josephus Daniels, pioneering woman physician Susan Dimock, professional basketball player Dominique Wilkins, and CNN News Anchor Carl Rochelle.
In May 1993 Washington won the prestigious All-America City Award, which recognizes communities where organizations cooperate to improve the community. After receiving the award, Washington officials were honored by an invitation to meet with President Clinton at the White House and by resolutions in the N.C. General Assembly.
Because of Washington's mild climate, beautiful natural surroundings, historic setting and location near a major university and medical center (East Carolina University and School of Medicine), the area is growing in popularity as a retirement destination.
Facts about the Area
Agriculture generates $100 million a year in income for Beaufort County.
Beaufort County is also an important agricultural producer in North Carolina.
- Top producer in the state for wheat and corn
- Second largest producer in the state for soybeans
- Produces 60 percent of all certified seed in North Carolina
- Top producer in the state for farm-raised fish
PCS Phosphate in Aurora is one of the world's largest phosphate mining operations. Many years ago this area was covered by the ocean. Decayed sealife produced the rich phosphate vein as well as the shark's teeth that are unearthed today.
Hackney Industries in Washington is the world's largest aluminum truck body manufacturer.
Weyerhaeuser is our county's largest land owner. The company raises pine trees on tree farms for pulp wood.
Fountain Powerboats crafts speed boats that are sought by buyers from all over the world.
Other diverse industries based here: diesel fuel pumps and filters, industrial filters, textile yarns, retail display cases, and valves for power plants.
Washington is 25 nautical miles from the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Pamlico River and Sound are ideal for sailing and power boating.
Dove, deer and duck hunting are popular pastimes when in season.
Recreational fishing is another favorite pastime. Washington hosts bass fishing tournaments regularly.
Facilities are available for golfing, tennis and year-round swimming.