Community Information


Washington's rich history adds to the character of the community. The settlement of Washington was laid out in 1775 on the northern bank of the Pamlico/Tar River by Colonel James Bonner and named in honor of General George Washington, his commander-in-chief. The City was incorporated by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1782. It became the county seat of Beaufort County in 1785, an honor previously held by the Town of Bath, North Carolina's oldest town, located 15 miles east.

There are numerous towns named Washington in the United States, but Washington, NC, is the first to have been named for General Washington (prior to his being named our nation's first president). Therefore, Washington, NC, is "The Original Washington."

Because of Washington's strategic location at the junction of coastal and inland rivers, the town developed as a regional shipping center and was recognized as a port in 1784. Washington also was a federal supply outpost during the Revolutionary War.

Washington has rebuilt after devastating fires destroyed all but a few of the City's antebellum structures. The construction that followed the second major fire in 1900 (the first burning was during the War Between the States) produced a concentration of Victorian era homes and commercial buildings in the area now designated as the Washington Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the largest commercial and residential historic districts in North Carolina. More history


Washington is located on the Pamlico and Tar rivers in the inland coastal region of North Carolina at the intersection of US 17 and US 264, approximately 125 miles east of Raleigh.

Population Data

The NC Department of Administration revises population figures annually. The estimated population for Washington is 9,840 (Office of State Budget and Management). US Census data for Washington, NC, through 2010 is available.


Washington has four distinct seasons with generally has mild winters and hot summers. Ice and snow are possible during the winter, but not frequent. Summerlike weather usually begins in May and extends into September. Summer days can be hot and humid, with frequent rain and thunderstorms. For more precise weather data, please visit the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, which offers historical weather data online for points across the country.

Property Taxes

In North Carolina both municipalities and counties can assess property taxes, and property inside municipalities is assessed both the municipality's and the county's property tax. In addition, unincorporated areas in Beaufort County, NC, may be part of fire and/or rescue districts, each with its own tax rates. There is no state property tax in North Carolina.

The City of Washington's current property tax rate is 53 cents per $100 valuation. Beaufort County's current property tax rate is 63.5 cents per $100 valuation. For district rates in specific areas please call the Beaufort County Tax Office at 252-946-2922.


Public pre-kindergarten through high school education is offered through the Beaufort County Schools. A charter school and parochial and non-parochial private schools also are available. The area also is served by Beaufort County Community College and East Carolina University. Visit our Links of Interest page to locate websites and more information about these organizations.


Washington is served by a diverse and thriving medical community revolving around Vidant Beaufort Hospital. Specialized medical care also is available 20 miles west in Greenville, through Vidant Health Systems.  Links of Interest page to locate websites and more information about these organizations.

Real Estate

The National Association of REALTORS® offers a website,, that allows you to search for property in any area of the country that participates in this service. The Washington-Beaufort County Board of Realtors participates, and many local real estate agents, companies and properties are listed on this site. We cannot recommend individual real estate agents or companies but we can point your to that resource. Click here to go to the National Association of REALTORS® website. Another option for online research for real estate agents is to conduct a "yellow pages" search on You will get a choice of online directories. Choose one directory and proceed with your research. This may expand your choice of agents and companies. If you need further advice, call the Washington-Beaufort County Board of Realtors at 252-946-3589, address 110 S. Main St., Bath, NC 27808.

All-America City

Washington was named an All-America City in 1993 in recognition of the community's use of collaborative problem-solving involving a diverse variety of community groups and organizations.

Prospective Residents

Are you thinking of relocating to our area and seeking information about other community characteristics? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for responses to similar inquiries.

Fun Facts

Visit our fun facts page to find out interesting information.