Washington is the county seat of Washington County.
Prior to the founding of Pennsylvania, the French call the area "Wissameking", the catfish place, after a Delaware Indian chief known as "Catfish". An early settler created a plot of land that he originally called "Bassett, alias Dandridge Town". Before the plot was registered, the name was changed to "Washington". The town was the center of the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s.
The town was incorporated in 1810.