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HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: From George

Washington

, who had traveled through the area on more than one occasion, and to commemorate the fact that it was the first town in

Connecticut

to be incorporated after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

ORIGINS: Settled in 1734 when Joseph Hurlbut moved into the eastern section of the area known as the North Purchase of

Woodbury

, later renamed Judea. The western part of the town, then belonging to

New Milford

, was settled in 1741 and later renamed

New Preston

. The town was incorporated in 1779 by combining the Parishes of Judea and New Preston with additional land taken from Litchfield and

Kent

.

DID YOU KNOW: The town's luxurious Mayflower Inn served as inspiration for the "Dragonfly Inn" in the television program Gilmore Girls (2000-2007), set in the fictitious Connecticut town of Stars Hollow.

FAMOUS RESIDENTS: Some of the town's notable residents have included entertainer

Conan O'Brien

, singer

James Taylor

, actresses Linda Dano and

Christine Baranski,

and educator and prominent abolitionist Frederick William Gunn.

SOURCES: The Hartford Courant; washingtonct.org; imdb.com; Connecticut State Register and Manual

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