Washington, Iowa is a vibrant community that proudly boasts outstanding recreational opportunities, interesting historical sites, festive community events, excellent educational offerings and modern healthcare options.
Founded in 1839, Washington is centrally located in southeast Iowa just 30 minutes south of Iowa City/Coralville. Washington is the county seat of Washington County and is in one of the top livestock and grain producing areas in the nation. With a population of approximately 7,300 the city offers The Washington Evening Journal, a daily local newspaper, and KCII, the local radio station. It is home to approximately 20 churches and over 100 social and service clubs and organizations.
The City of Washington was recognized in 2008 as a “Main Street Community” and the downtown square reflects an active Americana feel. The Centennial Fountain was constructed and dedicated in 1939 for Washington’s Centennial Celebration. It is the only one if its type in the continental United States and was refurbished in 1995 by a group of local citizens. It features a multi-colored light show and is the focus of Central Park in downtown Washington. The downtown park is surrounded by a square filled with unique retail shops, professional offices, and service businesses.
Throughout the year the community hosts several special events. Included is a seasonal weekly farmers’ market, band concerts, car shows, craft shows, Fourth of July celebration, Relay for Life, lighted Christmas parade, Christmas Tour of Homes, and several annual parades. The state’s longest-running Ridiculous Day originates from Washington and you can find retail bargains, community events and a parade on the first Saturday in June.
Washington boasts a municipal band which will celebrate its 80th season in 2012! Weekly concerts are held at the open-air bandstand in Central Park during the summer months. Plays, musicals, dances and multiple performances are held at the McCleery Community Center, which is a 22,000-square-foot modern structure accommodating cultural and educational programming for the surrounding area.
There are endless recreational opportunities with Washington’s extensive park system and community programming. Included is Sunset Park with its enormous New Dawn at Sunset wooden playground, fantastic aquatic center, an 18-hole Frisbee golf course, bike/skateboard area, picnic tables, basketball courts, and a dog park. Shelters are available for gatherings and reunions. The 13-mile Kewash Nature Trail offers excellent hiking, biking, and cross country skiing opportunities. The Washington Community Y offers organized youth and adult sports activities, a senior center, weight and nautilus room, and with an indoor pool they offer swimming lessons for all ages and water exercise classes for adults.
Established more than 175 years ago, Washington is rich in history, as seen through the many well-preserved historical sites throughout town. There are several vintage homes and buildings in Washington which are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. These include the 1840 DAR log house in Sunset Park, the Blair House, Conger House museum, Central Park’s centennial fountain with its beautiful multi-colored light show, and F-troop Military Museum.
This book highlights the city’s vibrant way of life and unmatched amenities. Please enjoy this book; it is proof of the well-rounded community that Washington has become over the years. Whether you are a resident, a business or a visitor, Washington welcomes you to enjoy the following pages.