Incorporated in 1823, McDonough is the Henry County seat. It remembers Commodore Thomas Macdonough, commander of American naval forces in Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.
The Brown House in McDonough is home to the Henry County Historical Society. Built in 1826, the building was the home of Andrew McBride, a Revolutionary War veteran from South Carolina. After it was expanded in 1874, the home opened as the Brown House Hotel.
Built in 1897, the Romanesque style Henry County courthouse, also located in McDonough, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
McDonough hosts a number of annual events, including the Geranium Festival in May and the Henry County Fair held each fall.