This township includes the villages of Woodville, New Preston, Marbledale, Washington, and Washington Depot. The eastern section, first settled by Joseph Hurlbut in 1734, was known as the Parish of Judea and belonged to Woodbury. The western section, first settled in 1741, was called the Parish of New Preston and belonged to New Milford. The present town was incorporated in 1779, being named in honor of General George Washington, who traveled through this area several times during his wartime journeys and breakfasted with his staff at Squire Cogswell's tavern in New Preston on Friday, May 25, 1781. For many years Washington was principally a farming community. Among early local industries were ironworks and quarries run by waterpower along the Shepaug and Aspetuck Rivers. The local economy now consists of small retail outlets and a few remaining farms. Several well-established private schools are also a vital part of the community.
Major William Cogswell. 1734-1786. In command under General Washington in retreat from Long Island during Revolutionary War. Moderator of first town meeting in Washington (1779). First Selectman. Elected eight times to represent the town in General Assembly of Connecticut.
Daniel N. Brinsmade. 1751-1826. Lawyer. Member of Hartford convention ratifying Constitution of the United States (1788).
Ephraim Kirby. 1757-1804. Served in American Revolution and in Connecticut Legislature. Published first fully developed volume of law reports in this country.
Horace Bushnell. 1802-1876. Lawyer, noted preacher and writer. Ordained pastor of North Church of Hartford (1833). Later selected site of future University of California.
Frederick W. Gunn. 1816-1881. Founder and master of The Gunnery school.
Gideon H. Hollister. 1817-1881. Lawyer, historian, state senator. Minister to Haiti (1868).
Orville H. Platt. 1827-1905. Studied law under Gideon Hollister. Served as Secretary of the State, in State Senate, as State's Attorney. United States Senator from Connecticut (1879-1905). Author of Platt Amendment incorporated into constitution of Cuba (1901).
William Hamilton Gibson. 1850-1896. Artist, naturalist, author, lecturer.
Major General Benjamin D. Foulois. 1879-1967. Made first military airplane flight, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (1910). Chief of United States Army Air Corps (1931-1935). "Last of the First to Fly" (on his cemetery monument).