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Our History

Why are we called Washington Unified?

Why are we called Washington Unified?

In 1846, a man named James McDowell bought 600 acres west of Sacramento and together with his wife, Margaret, and their three daughters, they become some of the first settlers in the area we know today as Broderick. Following the death of her husband, Margaret soon became the sole supporter of the property looking for a way to provide for her family.

In 1849, Margaret hired a land surveyor to map out 160 acres, which was then divided into forty one blocks. She sold individual lots within this platted area which she named the "Town of Washington". During its first ten years, the rural Town of Washington went through a significant increase in business development and shipping activity becoming a resting point for travelers passing through on their way to Sacramento.

In 1917, the early residents of the Town of Washington needed a place to educate their children and eventually built the Washington Grammar School. Regional expansion would lead to the development of new communities such as Broderick, Bryte, and Riverbank and later into the area known as Southport. As time would continue to pass, the area west of Sacramento was continually being referred to as West Sacramento. 

In 1987 voters chose the path of incorporation and the City of West Sacramento was officially formed, representing all the smaller communities of Washington, Broderick, Bryte, Riverbank and Southport. Our
West Sacramento community was built on the foundations of a rich history and identity which resonate even today throughout the Washington Unified School District.
Find out more about the history of the City of West Sacramento and the Washington Unified School District by visiting: