The community is situated on a ridge (elevation 1007 feet) at the intersection of Missouri Route 8 and the Missouri Pacific Railroad line. Potosi is approximately 4.5 miles to the northwest on Route 8.
A variant name was "Summitville". A post office called Summitville was established in 1882, the name was changed to Summit in 1886, and the post office closed in 1928. Summit is so named on account of the lofty elevation of the site.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Summit
- Missouri Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme, 1998, First edition, p. 48 ISBN 0-89933-224-2
- "Post Offices". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Washington County Place Names, 1928–1945". The State Historical Society of Missouri. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.