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Washington City

City Hall is located at 55 West Maiden Street, Washington PA 15301; phone: 724-223-4200.

Home of Washington and Jefferson College, 4-year, private liberal arts institution founded in 1781.

Beginnings [1]

Washington, county seat, laid out in 1782, population 21,480. Courthouse, built in 1900, on Main Street, Italian Renaissance, Columbia sandstone and granite; architect, F. J. Osterling; contains portraits, also collections made by the Washington County Historical Society; ground given by David Hoge of Virginia, who owned large tracts of land where the town now is. Town Hall, corner-stone laid by General U. S. Grant, in 1869; contains Public Library, gift of Dr. Francis J. Le Moyne. Washington and Jefferson College, combined in 1870, from Washington College founded 1787, and Jefferson College founded in Canonsburg, 1802; both flourished until the Civil War, when many students enlisted and financial depression followed; located one square east of the courthouse; oldest part, two story, stone, erected, 1793; main building, brick, 1836, enlarged, 1875, houses the Y. M. C. A., the museum, classrooms, and laboratories; several other fine buildings of brick and stone are on the campus; chapel contains portraits.

Washington Seminary, recognized as one of the oldest and best institutions for women students, one square south of college, was built, 1836. Bradford House, first stone house in this locality, was built, 1794, by Colonel William Bradford, a leader in the Whiskey Insurrection. Residence, Dr. Francis Julius Le Moyne, native of this town, built in 1812, East Maiden Street near Main, is one of the landmarks; he was a brilliant scholar, abolitionist, and promoter of the underground railroad; he built the first crematory in America, located south of Washington, first cremation, Baron de Palen, in 1876. Dr. Le Moyne was cremated, 1879. The Presbyterian Church leads, with the other principal denominations represented, also Jewish Synagogue. West from Washington, the Campbell family founded the Disciples, or Christian Church, on Buffalo Creek.

The Cumberland Road, built, 1811, brought an almost unbroken stream of home seekers through this town, en route to the west; bridges and culverts built about the same time still stand, models of solid masonry and good engineering, one is between Washington and Claysville, town named for Henry Clay, who had an interest in the road and frequently came here.

  1. Archambault, A. Margaretta, ed., A Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interests in Pennsylvania, John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1924
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