What do ponies have to do with a small city in Illinois? Everything! Washington, Illinois was founded in 1825 by a man named William Holland, Sr. The settlement was originally Holland’s Grove, but the name was changed in 1837 to honor President George Washington.
But back to the ponies: Washington was a small farming community until the 1920s, when George Heyl moved here to start a Shetland pony farm. The farm drew buyers from around the world and helped put the small town of Washington on the map.
Washington is located in the heart of the Midwest, just 10 miles from Peoria, 35 miles from Bloomington and under three hours from Chicago. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Central Illinois, Washington has seen a 40 percent growth in population in the past decade. Moving to an apartment in Washington will surround you with a fantastic city, beautiful neighborhoods, and excellent schools.
Even though it is minutes from Downtown Peoria, this isn’t a suburb – Washington is a self-supporting city that serves as a shopping destination for the area. The heart of the city is the downtown square, a historic location filled with shops, cafes, and a park. There are still some original barns dating to the 1920s along North Main Street – former barns of the Heyl Pony Farm.
After choosing an apartment in Washington, you’ll enjoy a variety of parks. Washington offers 11 developed parks and three natural areas, totaling 260 acres of park space. There’s also the Washington Recreation Trail, which offers over seven miles of walking/jogging trails, and nearly two miles of park nature trails.
Active local organizations help to maintain the community’s small-town charm and neighborhoods, which range from stately and historic to new and modern. Volunteers help to produce a number of events each year, including the “Washington Cherry Festival,” a Memorial Day parade and “Take Pride in Washington Day.” Explore Washington apartments for rent and find your home in a charming Midwestern community.