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Article Archive >> Spring Tourism

Charles Town: Named After the Youngest Full Brother of George Washington

Charles Town
Named After the Youngest Full Brother of George Washington

Charles Town was laid out in 1786 by Charles Washington.
In 1786, on 80 acres of his adjoining land, Charles laid out the streets of Charles Town, naming many of them after his brothers and one after his wife, Mildred. He donated the four corner lots at the intersection of George and Washington Streets for public buildings of the town and county, provided the town become the seat of the county separated from Berkeley County. Jefferson County was formed in 1801 as he anticipated. The county court house stands on one of these lots, as did the jail until 1919 when it was demolished to be replaced by the post office.
Charles Washington, was born in Huntington Creek, now Fairfax County, Virginia, on May 2, 1738. He was the youngest full brother of General George Washington. He came to present Jefferson County between April and October 1780.
Charles Washington's His home, erected in 1780 and known as "Happy Retreat," was a favorite rest stop for the wealthy and famous.
Charles died sometime between July and September 1799, only a short while before the death of his brother, George. His gravesite at Happy Retreat is unmarked.
Charles Town is the county seat of West Virginia and was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in October 1786. This historic town was the location of the trial and execution of John Brown, the famous abolitionist. Of three treason trials held in United States' history, two were tried in Jefferson County courthouse.

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