June 23, 2017

History

Welcome to Georgetown, South Carolina’s third oldest city. When Georgetown’s first lots were laid out and sold in 1729, permanent settlements had already been established in Charleston and Beaufort.

    Georgetown’s first inhabitants were Native Americans. As their population dwindled, Europeans moved in and took advantage of Georgetown’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Homes were built and commercial businesses sprang up along the Sampit River. Once called Bay Street, Georgetown’s Front Street remains today the heart of the business district.

    Georgetown, named for Prince George who later became King George II, was recognized as an international port of entry in 1732. The major commodities were indigo, rice, lumber, and paper, in that order. At one time, one-half of the rice in this country was produced in Georgetown County. Later, the Atlantic Cost Lumber Company on the Sampit River became the largest lumber producing plant on the East Coast. Later still, International Paper Company became the largest kraft paper mill in the world.

    Georgetown was occupied by the British during the Revolutionary War, then by Union troops near the end of the Civil War. Fortunately, most of her historic homes were allowed to stand. Georgetown’s Historic District was listed in the National Register in 1971 and boasts many homes built in the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s.

    Beautiful historic churches and cemeteries dot the landscape, including the Beth Elohim Cemetery (1772), one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the nation. Georgetown’s fine museums showcase the history of Native Americans, slavery, rice plantations, and military history.

    Minutes from downtown Georgetown, tourists and residents alike visit our beautiful beaches at Pawleys Island and Litchfield, eat world-class seafood in Murrells Inlet, and tour plantations established as early as the 1700s.

    Over one hundred years ago, Georgetown’s Mayor William D. Morgan ordered that 2,000 oak trees be planted downtown. Today, these trees provide a beautiful backdrop for the history that surrounds Georgetown, South Carolina.