Washington CT | Dooley Real Estate
Towns | Places to Stay | Recreation | Arts


Town: Washington, CT
38.7 square miles
Elementary School:
Washington Primary School
High School: Shepaug Valley Middle & High Schools

Private Schools: Glenholme School, The Gunnery School, Rumsey Hall, Washington Montessori

dooley real estate washington ct
The Hickory Stick Bookshop

Washington, the first town in the country named for George Washington, was first settled in 1734 and was formally incorporated in 1779 when the parishes of Judea and New Preston were joined. In many ways, however, it might be said that modern Washington was born of the great flood of 1955 when heavy rains throughout the Housatonic, Naugatuck and Shepaug river valleys caused swollen streams which crashed over and around bridges and dams and inundated low-lying areas. A clogged highway culvert north of the village gave way and a wall of water tore through Washington Depot washing homes and businesses downstream. The gem-like business district we see today was the result of one of the State’s earliest urban renewal projects which was led by businessman Henry B. VanSinderen (whose Washington estate was later donated by his widow to the Devereux Foundation and has become the nationally known Devereux-Glenholme School). Washington is also home to the Gunnery School, which was founded in 1850 by Frederick W. Gunn, a Yale graduate and noted abolitionist. He and his wife, Abigail, also founded the Gunn Memorial Library which stands across the Washington Green from the stately Congregational Church and some of the earliest Colonial-era homes in the town.

Washington has several distinct districts surrounding the commercial center in Washington Depot (so named because a rail line once ran along the Shepaug River delivering merchandise and trade goods to the businesses near the depot along with passengers who most often were carried by carriage to the homes and estates around or near the green). Washington Green at the top of the hill, New Preston which grew up around a dam and mill at the east end of Lake Waramaug, and Marbledale, so named because of the quarries from which much of the granite used to build the large stone homes and public buildings which are sprinkled around town was mined. One can still see slabs of granite lying on the ground at a mine site located on New Preston hill. These stone houses and the two dozen or so houses designed and built by New York architect Ehrick Rossiter give Washington an architectural character that is distinct from that of its neighbors. Rossiter also bestowed upon his adopted home the Steep Rock Preserve – a large tract of woods and trails along the Shepaug River beneath a brooding granite prominence. Now preserved in perpetuity by trustees for the public use and enjoyment, Steep Rock is as important in its way to the life of the community as is Central Park to Manhattan.

Today, Washington enjoys a vibrant economy driven by the second-home real estate market and tourism. It is, perhaps, the best known and chic of the region’s second home enclaves. When you visit, make it a point to try one of the many highly acclaimed restaurants and bistros, and by all means make it a special point to stop by the Hickory Stick Bookstore across from the town hall.

Town Links

- Official Town Site

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