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Georgetown Texas is a great small town (20 miles north of Austin) founded over 160 years ago at the fork of the North and South San Gabriel river. Georgetown Texas lies between the lush fertile farm land (blacklands) to the east and the hill country ranch land (Balcones escarpment) to the west. The city was established in 1848 as a trading center for the surrounding agricultural area. Much of the town has been preserved through participation in the Main Street Project and the with the help of the Georgetown Heritage Society. With the hard work of Georgetown's dedicated citizens we can now enjoy the wonderful history that has been preserved for us.
(view the Texas Historical Commission write up on Georgetown)

also view Georgetown Main Street Project
Video (flash video)- PDF - Walking Tour - Visit Georgetown

    and also view "The founding of Georgetown"

 

    View Videos on Georgetown  

    A special thanks to the Georgetown Heritage Society for these videos

    view  Video 1 (“Legacy of Wood & Stone)

    view  Video 2 (“On the Square')

 

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The architecture in the downtown area has been restored to its period beauty. As you walk around  the town square you can view the beautiful gingerbread that takes us back to yesteryear.



if you can not view the slide show to the left
click here for a free Flash viewer from Adobe

Georgetown Texas is a town of Victorian-era storefronts, antique streetlights and brick walks lining shaded downtown streets. More than 180 National Registered Historic homes and buildings showcase it's eclectic blend of past and present.

This web site tries to capture this history with photographs of these historical sites. Please peruse our web pages of Buildings, Churches, Homes and historical locations.

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Southwestern University, founded in 1840, is also located in Georgetown Texas.

view Southwestern University's history 

take a tour of the campus

view article on the early years
(a special thanks to the Community Impact news paper and Ellen Davis for this wonderful article )

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The Founding of Georgetown Texas
has a great story

The American Indians were the earliest inhabitances of Georgetown (see Texas prehistory and Texas Indians pdf). They lived and hunted along the San Gabriel river long before the Spanish came to Texas. Archeologists find evidence of their habitation dating back more that 12,000 years.
(view more info at Texas Beyond History and also view The Gault Site and Texas prehistory)

Early Georgetown’s pioneers were attracted by the abundance of inexpensive and fertile land with timber to build homes and abundant clean water. The first settlers came from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois, and other states. Swedish settlers came in the 1850s; German, Austrian, and Swiss settlers started arriving in the 1870, Moravian and Czech began arriving after 1880. (to view photos of these old timers/pioneers - click here)

A story relayed to historians - Washington Anderson, tells of Georgetown’s beginnings. Anderson and the four other men assigned the task of locating a county seat were enjoying a brief respite under a large oak tree, when Anderson’s cousin and prodigious landowner, George Washington Glasscock, Sr., (view photo) rode up on his mule. Sensing a quick solution to their task, Anderson spoke up, “George, if you’ll give us all the land between here and the San Gabriel River, we’ll make this the county seat and name the town after you.” His cousin agreed, promptly donating 173 acres, with his partner Thomas B. Huling.

Georgetown Texas is the county seat of Williamson County which was formed on March the 13th in the year of 1848. After the early settlers petitioned the State Legislature to create it out of Milam County. But for Three-Legged Willie the county could have been named "San Gabriel" county. It was finally named after Robert M. Williamson aka Three-Legged Willie a Texas statesmen and judge at the time.

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The frontier days of Georgetown where rough. Streets were either dusty or muddy with horses, buckboards, and wagons kicking up dust or making mud ruts in the streets. People walked on board sidewalks (if they were lucky) to stay out of the droppings and mud on rainy days. (Enjoy "Muddy Streets" Narratives from the Georgetown's Yesteryears Book).

Early Georgetown (1850 to 1870) was dependant on agriculture. Most people worked and lived an agrarian life style on small farms and ranches growing staples and livestock. The early settlers that migrated to Georgetown came mostly from our southern states and Europe which included a large influx of Swedish immigrates

Georgetown's growth was stunted by the Civil War and after the Reconstruction period growth became rapid. It grew from a pioneer village to a bustling town. Faster growth started the with the cattle industry which gave it a cow-town atmosphere for a while. Texas cowboys drove more than five million cattle and a million mustangs up the Chisholm Trail (which passed through Georgetown from 1867 to 1885.)

With the arrival of railroads in 1878 Georgetown was changed forever. Now cattle could be moved by rail and by 1890 cotton became a important cash crop that could now be shipped easily to eastern markets. Goods could now be transported quickly by rail from all over the country to local stores which helped fuel the local economy.

Part of Georgetown's economic, cultural, and architectural development came impart from the decision by the Texas conferences of the Methodist Church to consolidate their schools in Georgetown. The city lobbied for the Texas University and 2 years later was renamed South Western which opened in 1873 (and later became Southwestern University).  Georgetown became an early educational hub and enjoyed an influx of educators and families seeking a better education for their kids.

Part of the city's growth was also do impart because it was the county seat. The population and wealth of the county increased in the late 1800s and so did the city's fortunes. The county began constructing an elaborate Victorian courthouse in 1878 which helped the downtown businesses grow. The 1878 courthouse was later replaced by a larger courthouse in 1911 (view Williamson County Courthouse history). 

With the advent of automobiles Georgetown started to pave the downtown streets and add sidewalks which improved the downtown commercial district. The little town was growing up.

(For more history of the architectural history you can read the Georgetown Heritage Society's book "Sentimental Journey" and view the short videos links below. You can read and enjoy more local history at Williamson_County_Historical_Thumbnail_Stories.html)

 

also view The Texas Historical Commission write up on -
Georgetown History

https://historic.georgetown.org/

University Avenue - Elm Street Historic District

Williamson County Courthouse Historic District

 

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Take a photo tour of Historic Georgetown Texas

 

         View Videos on Georgetown
  
A special thanks to the Georgetown Heritage Society
   for letting us link to their videos

bullet

view  Video 1 (“Legacy of Wood & Stone)

bullet

view  Video 2 (“On the Square')
 

bullet

view Digital Photo Collection of Georgetown Texas

bullet

view Photos of Williamson County Pioneers

bullet

view Historical Markers of Georgetown (at the bottom of the page)
 

also view Georgetown Main Street Project
Video - PDF - Walking Tour - Visit Georgetown

if you can not view the video to the left
click here for a free Flash viewer from Adobe

 

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bulletview Historic Town Square Buildings
bulletview Historic Homes
bulletview Historic Churches
bulletview Landmarks - Historical Markers
bulletview San Gabriel River Blue Hole
bulletview Shotgun House at 801 West Street
bulletview Marshall Carver High School
bulletview Swedish Christmas
bulletview Old School Days
bulletview The Great floods of 1921, 1957 and 2007
bulletview The Railroad
bulletview Banking in the Early Years  
bulletview Farmers' State Bank
bulletview The Palace Theatre
bulletview Around The Courthouse
bulletview Williamson  Museum
bulletview Old Photos of Williamson County
bulletview Welcome to Williamson County Community Photos
bulletview Extensive listing of WEB links of interest
bulletview Georgetown Heritage Society
bulletview Main Street Georgetown
bulletview http://www.georgetown.org
bulletview http://www.visitgeorgetown.com/
bulletview Texas Historical Commission write up
 

the progression of early Texas

bullet MEXICAN GOVERNMENT OF TEXAS
bullet Spanish Texas
bullet Mexican province of Texas
bullet TEXAS IN THE AGE OF MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE
bullet MILITARY HISTORY
bullet REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
bullet TEXAS REVOLUTION
bullet ANNEXATION
 

(view the Texas Historical Commission write up on Georgetown)
also
view
WC Historical Commission page on Georgetown
also view Jessie Daniel Ames, of Georgetown - (past state president of the League of Women Voters and anti-lynching advocate.)

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The Colorado River Walkers club of Austin has devised a walking tour of Georgetown. 
Please view the information at
http://www.coloradoriverwalkers.org/yre_georgetown.htm

also view

http://www.coloradoriverwalkers.org/
 

 

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For problems or questions regarding this web site contact
Wayne@georgetown-texas.org