Washington County, Maryland

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 2007, its population was 145,113. Washington County 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.

Washington County is one of three counties in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. Due to commuting patterns, a high growth rate, and close proximity, Washington County is also often considered, though not officially designated a part of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical 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.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 468 square miles (1,211 km²), of which, 458 square miles (1,187 km²) of it is land and 9 square miles (24 km²) 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

County government

Washington County's 'leader' is known as the County Administrator. Currently, Greg Murray serves as the Administrator. However, Washington County's County Commissioners exercise executive powers as they exist in the government of the county.

The County Commissioners in Washington County comprise the traditional form of county government in Maryland. Current members include: Kristin B. Aleshire, Terry Baker, John F. Barr, James F. Kercheval, and William J. Wivell.

State representation

Washington County is represented by two senators in Maryland State Senate. Member Donald F. Munson (R), serves the 2nd district in Maryland and Alex X. Mooney serves in the 3rd district. The county also is represented in Maryland General Assembly's other primary division, the Maryland House of Delegates. Delegates who stand for Washington County include: LeRoy Myers (R) for District 1C, Andrew A. Serafini (R) for District 2A, Chris Shank (R) for District 2B, John P. Donoghue (D) for District 2C, and Richard Weldon (R) for District 3B.

Federal representation

The county is located within Maryland's 6th congressional district. The representative of the district currently is Roscoe Bartlett (R).


As of the census of 2000, there were 131,923 people, 49,726 households, and 34,112 families residing in the county. The population density was 288 people per square mile (111/km²). There were 52,972 housing units at an average density of 116 per square mile (45/km²). 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.


Washington 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. Beaver Creek
  2. Big Pool
  3. Cearfoss
  4. Downsville
  5. Fairplay
  6. Huyett
  7. Indian Springs
  8. Mercersville
  9. PenMar
  10. Van Lear
  11. Weverton

Parks and recreation

National parks

State parks

Other recreation


Washington County Public Schools administers public schools in the county. See Washington County Public Schools - School Directory for a detailed listing of elementary, middle, high, and other schools.

High schools

Public high schools

Private high schools

  • Broadfording Academy, Hagerstown
  • Gateway Academy, Williamsport
  • Grace Academy, Hagerstown
  • Heritage Academy, Hagerstown
  • Highland View Academy, Hagerstown
  • St. James School, Saint James
  • St. Maria Goretti High School, Hagerstown
  • Truth Christian Academy, Hagerstown

Colleges and universities

Notable residents and natives


External links

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