Washington County, Florida was created in 1825, and was nearly twice the size of the State of Delaware, stretching all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. After a century of boundary shifts, the county, with over 382,000 acres of rolling hills covered in thick, stately pines and mixed hardwood forests, now covers a large portion of the central Florida Panhandle.
Over a span of more than 150 years, Washington County has seen Native American, Spanish and English cultural influences. The County's historical lore is rich with stories of the exploits of Andrew Jackson. There are numerous Native American Mounds and evidence of strong settlements still being discovered.
Named after George Washington, first President of the United States of America, the area was first settled by those seeking both economic and political freedoms in this frontier land of vast timber and mineral resources. Inland waterway transportation brought about heavy river settlements. The arrival of railroads in the late 1800s boosted economic, social and political developments.
Vernon, the geographical center of the county derives is named for George Washington's Virginia home, Mt. Vernon. The pioneer town was also the site of a major Indian settlement.
The county courthouse was located in Vernon during the early part of this century until a railroad town in northeastern Washington County, Chipley, became the new and present county seat in 1927.
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