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Washington, Maine, a rural town of 1,592 inhabitants (2020 Census up 4% from 2010; 1,532), is located along state Route 17 in the northwestern corner of Knox County, between the county seat in Rockland and the state capital in Augusta.
We invite everyone to our friendly and vibrant community. The town includes the small villages of Washington Village, West Washington, Razorville and Stickney Corner. The wooded, rolling terrain is punctuated with newer houses found among 19th century farmsteads, open hayfields and blueberry lands. Patrick and Cunningham mountains rise in the the northwestern portion of town. Clear and pristine Washington Pond and Crystal Lake, northwest of the Village, teem with fish and are home to loons, bald eagles, beavers and a variety of other wildlife. Several smaller ponds and streams, such as Davis Stream, Little Medomak River, and Washington and Calderwood brooks, adorn our attractive rural community.
The town office, library and volunteer fire station share a municipal campus at 40/42 Old Union Road. Town services include full-time Public Works, volunteer fire department and the town office. At the town office, you can register your car, pay your property taxes, register your dog, register to vote, purchase transfer station bags (required for trash disposal at TCSWMO), apply for building/septic permits, and more. Washington is governed by a three-member Select Board, which meets each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. -- meetings are open to the public -- and residents gather for the annual town meeting each year in March to approve the yearly town budget.
The property tax mil rate for 2023 is .0168. Property taxes support Washington's portion of the school district budget; a share of of the county, ambulance service, and transfer station budgets; and the town.
Recycling and trash services are provided by Tri-County Solid Waste Management Organization, (TCSWMO) at the transfer station located on Route 17 in Union. Washington is part of Regional School Unit 40 and is home to nationally-recognized K-6 grade school Prescott Memorial.
There are several options for internet service: municipally owned broadband operated by Axiom (currently under construction and expected to be operational in April 2024), Consolidated Communications, RedZone and StarLink as well as a variety of other satellite internet services. There is no public water or sewer service, all properties have private wells and septic systems. See our local ordinances governing land use, and more, here.
Washington welcomes children and families to its unique summer camps each year, Med-O-Lark and Medomak Camp; and all are welcome to peruse books or check out work by local artists at Gibbs Library. Our town is home to a number of small businesses as well, some of which are listed here (please contact the town office to be added to the list).
Our citizens are are known for their spirit of volunteerism. We are extremely proud of the numerous civic and fraternal organizations that support the community (see a partial list of these organizations at the bottom of the page).
The Nelson family first built a log cabin here in 1797 and the first frame house was constructed in 1802. The town was incorporated in 1811 as "Putnam," named after General Israel Putnam, a Revolutionary War hero. In 1825, the town's name was officially changed to Washington.
One early item of interest in Washington's history is the "paint mine." There was a large deposit of red and yellow ocher found in a cave, which may have been used by people who lived here 3,000 to 5,000 years ago and used large quantities of ocher, normally red, to cover both the bodies of the dead and burial artifacts. Archaeologists refer to these people as "Red Paint People."
The red panel at the hoist of the official Town Flag refers to these people: