Located on the fall line, Georgetown was the farthest point upstream that ships sailing through the ocean could navigate the Potomac River. In 1632, the English fur trader Henry Fleet documented a Native American village in the Nacotchtank village called Tohoga on the site of present-day Georgetown and established trade there. The area was then part of the Province of Maryland, an English colony.

George Gordon built a tobacco inspection house along the Potomac in about 1745. The site was already a tobacco trading post when the inspection house was built. Warehouses, docks and other buildings were then built around the inspection house, and it quickly became a small community. It was not long before Georgetown became a prosperous port, facilitating trade and shipments of products from colonial Maryland.

In 1751, the legislature of the Province of Maryland authorized the purchase of 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land by Gordon and George Beall for the price of £ 280. A survey of the city was completed in February 1752. Since Georgetown was founded During the reign of George II of Great Britain, some speculate that the city was named in his honor. Another theory is that the city was named after its founders, George Gordon and George Beall. The Maryland Legislature formally issued a charter and incorporated the city in 1789. (Although Georgetown never officially became a city, it was later known as the “City of Georgetown” in several acts of the 19th century Congress). Robert Peter, an early merchant of the area in the tobacco trade, became the first mayor of Georgetown in 1790.

Colonel John Beatty established the first church in Georgetown, a Lutheran church on the High Street. Stephen Bloomer Balch established a Presbyterian Church in 1784. In 1795, the Trinity Catholic Church was built, along with a parochial school. The construction of the Episcopal Church of San Juan began in 1797, but was stopped for financial reasons until 1803, and the church was finally consecrated in 1809. Banks in Georgetown included the Bank of Farmers and Mechanics, which was established in 1814. Other Banks included the Bank of Washington, Patriotic Bank, Bank of the Metropolis, and Union and Central Banks of Georgetown.

Newspapers in Georgetown included the Republican weekly ledger, which was the first paper, begun in 1790. The sentinel was first published in 1796 by Green, English & Co. Charles C. Fulton began publishing Potomac Advocate, which was initiated by Thomas Turner. Other newspapers in Georgetown include the Courier of Georgetown and the Federal Republican. William B. Magruder, the first postmaster, was appointed on February 16, 1790, and in 1795, a custom house was established on Water Street. General James M. Lingan was the first collector of the port.

In the 1790s, City Tavern, Union Tavern and Columbian Inn opened and were popular throughout the 19th century. Of these taverns, only City Tavern remains today, as a private social club (City Tavern Club) located near the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street.

Establishment of the federal capital
George Washington frequented Georgetown, including the Tavern of Suter, where he made many deals to acquire land for the new Federal City. A key figure in the land business was a local merchant named Benjamin Stoddert, who arrived in Georgetown in 1783. He had previously served as Secretary of the Board of War under the Articles of Confederation. Stoddert partnered with General Uriah Forrest to become an original owner of the Potomac company.

Stoddert and other Potomac landowners agreed to a land transfer agreement with the federal government at a dinner at the Forrest home in Georgetown on March 28, 1791. Stoddert purchased land within the boundaries of the federal district, some at the request of Washington to the government, and some in speculation. He also bought shares in the federal government under Hamilton’s supposed debt plan. The speculative purchases were not, however, profitable and caused Stoddert many difficulties before his appointment as Secretary of the Navy to John Adams. Stoddert was rescued from his debts with the help of William Marbury, later of the fame of Marbury v. Madison, and also a resident of Georgetown. Finally, he owned Halcyon House at the corner of 34th Street with Prospect Streets. The Forrest-Marbury House on M Street is currently the embassy of Ukraine.

After the establishment of the federal capital, Georgetown became an independent municipal government within the District of Columbia, along with the City of Washington, the City of Alexandria and the newly created Conda of Washington and Alexandria County (now Arlington County, Virginia). 19 Georgetown around 1862. Overview of the C & O Canal, the Aqueduct Bridge to the right and the unfinished Capitol dome in the distant background. 1820s, the Potomac River had settled and was not navigable until Georgetown north. Construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal began in July 1828, to link Georgetown with Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (West Virginia after 1863). But the channel was soon in a race with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and reached Cumberland eight years after the railroad, a faster mode of transportation, and at a cost of $ 77,041,586. It was never profitable. From its beginning until December 1876, the channel earned $ 35,659,055 in revenue, while it spent $ 35,746,301. However, the Canal provided an economic boost for Georgetown. In the 1820s and 1830s, Georgetown was an important shipping center. Tobacco and other goods were transferred between the canal and shipping on the Potomac River. In addition, salt was imported from Europe, and sugar and molasses were imported from the West Indies. These shipping industries were later replaced by the coal and flour industries, which flourished with the C & O channel providing cheap energy for factories and other industries. [12] In 1862, the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company started a line of cars that ran along M Street in Georgetown and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, facilitating travel between the two cities. Sailboats moored at the dock in Georgetown, ca. 1865 The municipal governments of Georgetown and the city of Washington were formally revoked by Congress as of June 1, 1871, at which time their governmental powers were conferred to the District of Columbia. The streets of Georgetown were renamed in 1895 to fit the names of streets in use in Washington. By the end of the 19th century, flour milling and other industries in Georgetown were declining, in part due to the fact that canals and other navigable waterways remained continually sedimented. Nathaniel Michler and S.T. Abert led the efforts to dredge the canals and remove the rocks around the port of Georgetown, although these were temporary solutions and Congress showed little interest in the subject. A flood of 1890 and the expansion of the railroads brought down the C & O Canal, and the Georgetown seafront became more industrialized, with narrow alleys, warehouses and homes lacking plumbing or electricity. Maritime trade disappeared between the Civil War and the First World War. As a result, many old houses remained relatively unchanged. 20th century Poor children playing on the sidewalk in Georgetown during the Great Depression, Carl Mydans, 1935 In 1915, the Buffalo Bridge (on Q Street) opened and connected this part of Georgetown with the rest of the city east of Rock Creek Park . Soon after, the new construction of large apartment buildings began at the edge of Georgetown. In the early 1920s, John Ihlder led efforts to take advantage of new zoning laws to approve the construction of restrictions in Georgetown. A 1933 study by Horace Peaslee and Allied Architects presented ideas on how Georgetown could be preserved. The C & O Canal, then owned by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, formally ceased operation in March 1924. After a severe flood in 1936, B & O Railroad sold the canal to the National Park Service in October 1938. The coastal area retained its character industry in the first half of the 20th century. Georgetown housed a shipyard, a cement factory, the Washington Flour mill and a meat processing plant with incinerator chimneys and a power plant for the old Capital Traction tram system , located at the foot of Wisconsin Avenue, which closed in 1935, and was demolished in October 1968. In 1949, the city built the Whitehurst Freeway, an elevated freeway on K Street, to allow motorists entering the District to cross the Key Bridge to completely bypass Georgetown on its way to downtown. In 1950, Public Law 808 was passed, establishing the historic district of “Old Georgetown”. The law requires that the United States Commission of Fine Arts be consulted on any alteration, demolition or construction of buildings within the historic district. In 1967, the Georgetown Historic District was included in the US National Register of Historic Places. UU