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Maryland Counties
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Maryland Counties

There are twenty-four counties and county-equivalents in Maryland. Though an independent city rather than a county, the City of Baltimore is considered the equal of a county. The last new county formation in Maryland occurred when Garrett County was formed in 1872 from portions of Allegany County.

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Washington County, Maryland

Washington County Education, Geography, and HistoryWashington County, Maryland Courthouse

Washington County is a county located in the western part of the state of Maryland. As of the 2010 US Census, the population was 147,430. Its county seat is Hagerstown. Washington County was the first county in the United States to be named for the Revolutionary War general (and later President) George Washington. Washington County is one of three Maryland counties recognized by the Appalachian Regional Commission as being part of Appalachia.

The county borders southern Pennsylvania to the north, Northern Virginia to the south, and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to the south and west.

Washington County is included in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Washington County Name

George Washington, first President of the United States

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Washington County History

The western portions of Maryland (including present Washington County) were incorporated into Prince George's County in 1696. This original county included six current counties. The first to be created was Frederick, separated from Prince George's County in 1748.

Washington County was formed on September 6, 1776 by the division of Frederick County. At the same time, a portion of Frederick County became part of the newly created Montgomery County along with portions from Prince George's County and Charles' County, and was named for General Richard Montgomery. Washington County as created included land later to become Allegany County (created in 1789) and Garrett County (included in Allegany County when it was created in 1789, but separated from Allegany County in 1872). Washington County thus originally included the entire western part of the state.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 467 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 9.6 square miles (25 km2) (2.0%) is water.

Washington County is located in the Appalachian Mountains, stretching from the Ridge-and-Valley Country in the west to South Mountain in the east, which is an extension of the Blue Ridge. Much of the county lies in the broad Hagerstown Valley between these two zones; the valley is part of the Great Appalachian Valley that continues southward into Virginia and West Virginia as the Shenandoah Valley and northward into Pennsylvania as the Cumberland Valley.

The county is bordered to the north by the Mason-Dixon line with Pennsylvania, to the south by the Potomac River and the states of Virginia and West Virginia, to the west by Sideling Hill Creek and Allegany County, Maryland, and to the east by Frederick County and South Mountain.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Franklin County, Pa.
  • Southeast: Frederick County; Loudoun County, Va.
  • South: Jefferson County, W.Va.
  • Southwest: Berkeley County, W.Va.
  • West: Morgan County, W.Va.; Allegany County
  • Northwest: Fulton County, Pa.

Education

Washington County Public Schools administers public schools in the county.

Colleges and universities

  • Antietam Bible College, Biblical Seminary, and Graduate School
  • Hagerstown Community College, two-year public community college
  • Kaplan College (formerly Hagerstown Business College)
  • Mount Saint Mary's University, Hagerstown Campus, offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
  • University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, branch of the University System of Maryland; offers various associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in connection with other state colleges and universities in Maryland.
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