Founded in 1720 and incorporated in 1835, is the third oldest settlement in Louisiana. The community was first established as Poste des Opelousas, a French trading post. Early records indicate that the community was later called Church Landing because the settlement included the first church in the Opelousas district, La Iglesia Paroquial de la Immaculada Conception del Puesto de Opelousas, built in 1774. The land had been originally deeded to Jacques Courtableau. It was subsequently granted to the “guardian of the church,” which began selling lots in 1822.
In the 1800's, Washington was an important steamboat port with cotton, cattle, sugar, and molasses being the major products shipped from the region. It became the largest steamboat port between New Orleans and St. Louis, Missouri. With the arrival of the railroad in 1883, Washington's importance as a center of commerce declined. The last steamboat departed in 1900, leaving the town with a wealth of antebellum plantation homes and Victorian houses that have today formed the basis for a significant and growing tourism industry.
Washington National Historic District
Eighty percent of the buildings in the Town of Washington have been identified as being of historic or architectural significance. Listed in 1978.