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Why History?

History is part of the essence of Washington College—the first college chartered in the new nation, supported by our namesake, George Washington, and located in a quaint colonial town still lined with brick walkways.

Here, history is not something buried for intrepid excavators to find—though there’s an archaeology lab if you want to give it a try. In Chestertown, on our campus, history is a way of life.

It comes to life when the weather’s warm and history faculty and students play Town Ball, a colonial sport similar to baseball, on the campus green. Town Ball Challenges, pitting WC’s resident historians against the Talbot County Historical Society members, take things up a notch when the visiting “Fair Plays” come to play in period costumes.

There are many undiscovered pieces in the 300+ year histories of the town and the College, but if you want to broaden your perspective on the past, tag along on one of the history road trips, sponsored by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Excursions have included hiking around Harpers Ferry, biking around Mount Vernon, visiting places important to understanding slavery in the Chesapeake region and spending an afternoon in “Weird Little Museums” in Philadelphia.

At Washington College, history isn’t just something to be researched—it’s something you can live every day.