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Tennessee Counties

There are ninety-five counties in the State of Tennessee. The oldest county is Washington County, founded in 1777. The most recently formed county is Chester County (1879)

Washington County, Tennessee

Washington County Education, Geography, and History

Washington County, Tennessee Courthouse

Washington County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 122,979. Its county seat is Jonesborough. The county's largest city and a regional educational, medical and commercial center is Johnson City. Washington County is Tennessee's oldest county, having been established in 1777 when the state was still part of North Carolina.

Washington County is part of the Johnson City, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area, commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.

Etymology - Origin of Washington County Name

Named in honor of George Washington (1732-1799), member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, Revolutionary War commander unanimously elected first US president.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Washington County

Created 1777 by Act of North Carolina; named in honor of George Washington (1732-1799), member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, Revolutionary War commander unanimously elected first US president.

Washington County was formed in 1777 by Act of North Carolina
(Laws of North Carolina 1777, Chapter 31).

There was a fire at the Washington County courthouse in 1839.

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
Established by the North Carolina legislature in November 1777, Washington County came from western territory known as the Washington District. This first county included the whole territory within the boundaries of what would become Tennessee. Jonesborough, the first town in Tennessee, was selected as county seat, and in 1779, construction began on a log courthouse covered with clapboards.

Hunters came early to Washington County. Daniel Boone left tangible evidence of his hunting forays in the Boones Creek area, where settlers found a tree that bore the inscription, "D Boon cilled a bar on tree 1760." William Bean and his family became the first permanent white settlers in Tennessee in 1768-69. Jacob Brown, who migrated from South Carolina to trade with the Cherokee Indians, later bought from the Indians thousands of acres of land on the Nolichucky River in 1775. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: WASHINGTON COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 330 square miles (854 km2), of which, 326 square miles (845 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (9 km2) of it (1.06%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Sullivan County (north)
  • Carter County (east)
  • Unicoi County (south)
  • Greene County (west)
  • Hawkins County (northwest)


Asbury Optional High School
Daniel Boone High School
David Crockett High School
Science Hill High School

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