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Washington County, Maryland
Seal of Washington County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the U.S. highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1776
Seat Hagerstown
Largest city Hagerstown
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

468 sq mi (1,212 km²)
458 sq mi (1,186 km²)
9 sq mi (23 km²), 2.01%
 - (2000)
 - Density

287/sq mi (111/km²)

Washington County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Maryland, bordering Southern Pennsylvania to the north, Northern Virginia to the south, and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to the south and west. In 2006, its population was 143,748. It was the first county in the United States to be named for the Revolutionary War general (and later President) George Washington. Its county seat is Hagerstown.

This county is a part of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. The county is also one of the three counties in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg Metropolitan Area.


The western part of Maryland (including the present Washington County) was incorporated into Prince George's County in 1696. This county included six current counties, and by repeated splitting, new ones were generated. The first was Frederick from Prince George's in 1748.

Washington County was formed on October 1, 1776 by the splitting of Frederick County. At the same time, another county, Montgomery County, was also split off from Frederick County and named for another general, Richard Montgomery. Washington County as created included the areas later to become Allegany County (split off in 1789) and Garrett County (included in Allegany County when it was split off in 1789, later split from Allegany County), so included the entire westernmost part of the state of Maryland.[1]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,211 km² (468 sq mi). 1,187 km² (458 sq mi) of it is land and 24 km² (9 sq mi) of it (2.01%) is water. Washington County is bordered to the North by the Mason-Dixon Line; to the South by the Potomac River; to the East by South Mountain; and to the West by Sideling Hill Creek.

Adjacent Counties[]


Law and government[]

Washington County is governed by county commissioners, the traditional form of county government in Maryland.

County Executive[]

The county commissioners exercise executive powers as they exist in the government of the county.


The Washington County Flag

As of the census² of 2000, there were 131,923 people, 49,726 households, and 34,112 families residing in the county. The population density was 111/km² (288/sq mi). There were 52,972 housing units at an average density of 45/km² (116/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 89.71% White or Caucasian, 7.77% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.1% were of German, 21.4% American, 8.8% Irish and 8.4% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 49,726 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.00% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 104.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,617, and the median income for a family was $48,962. Males had a median income of $34,917 versus $24,524 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,062. About 7.00% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.30% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

This county contains the following incorporated municipalities:

Unincorporated areas are also considered as towns by many people and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local government. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

  1. Cavetown
  2. Chewsville
  3. Fort Ritchie
  4. Fountainhead-Orchard Hills (a combination of the communities of Fountainhead and Orchard Hills recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
  5. Halfway
  6. Highfield-Cascade (a combination of the communities of Highfield and Cascade recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
  7. Leitersburg
  8. Maugansville
  9. Mount Aetna
  10. Mount Lena
  11. Paramount-Long Meadow (a combination of the communities of Paramount and Long Meadow recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)
  12. Robinwood
  13. Rohrersville
  14. Saint James
  15. San Mar
  16. Wilson-Conococheague (a combination of the communities of Wilson and Conococheague recognized as a unit by the Census Bureau)

Other unincorporated areas not listed as CDP's include:

  1. Big Pool
  2. Fairplay
  3. Van Lear

Parks and recreation[]

National parks[]

Burnside Bridge traversing Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, site of heavy combat during the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) on September 17, 1862

State parks[]

Other recreation[]


High schools[]

Colleges and universities[]

  • University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, a branch of the University of Maryland offering various associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in connection with other state colleges and universities in Maryland.

Notable residents and natives[]

  • See People from Washington County.


  • Hein, David, ed. A Student's View of the College of St. James on the Eve of the Civil War: The Letters of W. Wilkins Davis. Studies in American Religion. Lewiston, N.Y.: Mellen, 1988.

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°36′N 77°49′W / 39.60, -77.81

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Washington County, Maryland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.