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Georgetown has been the site of human habitation since at least 9,000 BC, and possibly considerably before that. The earliest-known inhabitants of the county, during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age), can be linked to the Clovis culture, a Paleo-Indian culture characterized by the manufacture of distinctive "Clovis points" for weapons. It first appeared around 9200 BC, and possibly as early as 11,500 BC, at the end of the last glacial period.
One of the most important discoveries in recent times is that of the ancient skeletal remains dubbed the "Leanderthal Lady", because of its age and proximity to a nearby community Leander, Texas. The site is immediately southwest of Georgetown and was discovered by accident by Texas Department of Transportation workers while core samples for a new highway were being drilled. The site has been extensively studied for many years, and samples carbon date the findings to the Pleistocene period, about 10,500 years ago (8500 BC). Archeological dig sites showing a much greater evidence of Archaic period inhabitants have been found in burned rock middens at several sites along the San Gabriel River, which have since been inundated by the manmade Granger Lake, and at the confluence of the North and South San Gabriel rivers in Georgetown.
The earliest known historical occupants of the county, the Tonkawa, were a flint-working, hunting people who followed buffalo on foot and periodically set fire to the prairie to aid them in their hunts. During the 18th century, they made the transition to a horse culture and used firearms to a limited extent. Also, small numbers of Kiowa, Yojuane, Tawakoni, and Mayeye Indians apparently were living in the county at the time of the earliest Anglo settlements. As these native populations thinned under pressure from non-indigenous settlements, the Comanche continued to raid native peoples' settlements in the county until the 1860s.
Georgetown was named for George Washington Glasscock, who donated the land for the new town. Early American and Swedish pioneers were attracted to the area's abundance of timber and good, clear water. In addition, the land was inexpensive and fertile. Georgetown is the county seat of Williamson County, which was formed on March 13, 1848, after the early settlers petitioned the state legislature to create it from a portion of Milam County. The county was originally to have been named San Gabriel County, but was instead named after Robert McAlpin Williamson (known as "Three-legged Willie"), a Texas statesman and judge at the time.
Georgetown was an agrarian community for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Shawnee Trail, a cattle trail that led from Texas to the rail centers in Kansas and Missouri, crossed through Georgetown. The establishment of Southwestern University in 1873 and construction of a railroad in 1878 contributed to the town's growth and importance. A stable economy developed, based largely on agricultural activity. Cotton was the dominant crop in the area between the 1880s and the 1920s. In this period, Williamson County was once the top producer of cotton in Texas.
At one time, Georgetown was served by two national railroads, the International-Great Northern Railroad, which eventually was merged into the Missouri Pacific, and the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad. Both supported the transport of commodities to market: beef cattle and cotton. The regional Georgetown and Granger Railroad (GGR) was completed to Austin in 1904. Georgetown is served today by the Georgetown Railroad, a 'short line' railroad that uses portions of the former M-K-T and the I-GN to connect with the Union Pacific Railroad at Round Rock and at Granger.
In 1921 a low-pressure system from a hurricane settled in over Williamson County and brought more than 23 inches of rain in Taylor and more than 18 inches of rain in Georgetown. The flooding resulted in the deaths of 156 persons, many of them farm laborers. There was also extensive property damage, and Georgetown sought to flood control.
The city/county (state?) completed construction of a dam more than 50 years later, on the north fork of the San Gabriel River, to create and impound Lake Georgetown, which opened officially on October 5,1979. Both Georgetown and Round Rock own water rights to Lake Georgetown for municipal water use.
Population growth and industrial expansion continued modestly in the 20th century until about 1960, when residential, commercial, and industrial development, due to major growth and urban expansion of nearby Austin, greatly accelerated. In 2008, Fortune Small Business magazine ranked Georgetown as the second-best city in the nation to "live and launch" a new business.
In March 2015, Georgetown announced that their municipal-owned utility, Georgetown Utility Systems, would begin buying 100% of power for its customers from wind and solar farms by 2017, effectively making the city 100% green-powered.
A densely overgrown, 1908–1910 Victorian house was found in Round Rock, Texas. (The site was later redeveloped for the La Frontera project.) The historic house was cut into pieces, and moved to Georgetown in 2006. There it was restored by Don Martin and Bill Smalling (1953–2008). It is located on San Gabriel Village Blvd, prominently overlooking the South San Gabriel River, and is now used as an office. It is known locally as the Burkland-Frisk House, as it was built by Leonard Frisk, an early settler in Williamson County, and was later owned by Tony Burkland, a relative.
In Round Rock, this house was originally across the street from an identical house, built in the same era. The latter was used in filming of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The houses were known as "pattern book" houses, ordered from a catalog and assembled on site from a package of materials brought by wagon from a local lumber company. They were likely built between 1908 and 1910. Later the filmed house was cut and relocated to Kingsland, Texas. There it was redeveloped as part of the Antlers Hotel.
In the 1970s, Georgetown's downtown was bleak and featureless. In an effort to modernize and compete with suburban retail development, building owners in the '50s and '60s had obscured some of their most unique resources – their historical retail buildings. The Texas-Victorian streetscape was plastered with stucco, aluminum covers, brick, and multiple layers of white paint. Community leaders began to reassess this retail stock, and work with the Main Street program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to enhance the architectural heritage of the city.
In this period, economics also began to favor reuse of historic buildings, as the cost of borrowing money was soaring. In Georgetown, every bank offered significantly lower interest loans for the renewal of the town's grand Victorian buildings and facades. Rehabilitation tax credit programs in the 1980s made investing in historic property more profitable. By 1984, 40 rehabilitations were complete. Two years after Georgetown initiated its Main Street program, more than half the Main Street district had undergone some kind of positive transition.
The city was recently named one of the best places to purchase a historic house. Today, Georgetown is home to one of the best preserved Victorian and pre-WW1 downtown historic districts, with the Beaux-Arts Williamson County Courthouse (1911) as its centerpiece. Due to its successful preservation efforts, Georgetown was named a national Main Street City in 1997, the first Texas city so designated.
Georgetown has three National Register Historic Districts:
As of the 2010 census, the population density was 990.4 people per square mile (382.4/km2).
As of the census of 2000, 28,339 people, 10,393 households, and 7,711 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,241.3 people per square mile (479.3/km2). The 10,902 housing units averaged 477.5 per square mile (184.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.39% White, 3.39% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 8.31% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 18.07% of the population.
Of the 10,393 households, 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.6% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were not families; 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city, the population was distributed as 23.4% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 91.1 men.
The median income for a household in the city was $54,098, and for a family was $63,338. Males had a median income of $40,541 versus $27,082 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,287. About 4.4% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.
Texas is an extremely popular state in the South Central area of the United States. It is second largest U.S. State by both population and area. Millions of people commute to work in this great state every day and millions more visit on a yearly basis. There are many cities and towns in Texas from which to choose when thinking about moving to the great state.
Dallas is one of the most popular cities in Texas. This city offers so much to do. It has four professional sports teams as well as several major corporations that are located in Dallas. The Texas Stars hockey team is based in Dallas as well. Many celebrities have been born in Dallas including musicians and actors like Johnny Guitar and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Deion Sanders.
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The third largest city in Texas, Houston is a logical choice for anyone who wants to relocate to this part of the country. It is situated on the bayou in the middle of Texas. There are many parks in Houston, where one can enjoy water activities such as swimming and fishing.
Houston is home to one of the most diverse groups of people. It has an ethnic, economic, religious, political, and historical mix that simply isn't found in other southern cities. As this part of Texas has changed over time, so too have the people that call Texas home. There have been some large immigration waves to the state, and these immigrants bring with them an ethnicity and a culture all their own.
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The fifth most populous city in Texas, Houston is also one of its most popular cities. Like many of the other Texas popular cities, it was a former railroad's capital. Its rich history and the energy it provides attract a good deal of workers from out of state as well as local residents, who enjoy the abundance of resources and the energy it generates. As more is learned about Texas and all that it has to offer, the influx will only continue to increase.
Austin, another one of the most popular Texas cities, was named one of the top ten best places to live by the US Times. The vibrant college town and surrounding areas are considered to be central to the Texas economy. There are many festivals and events that take place in this region, which make it even more popular each year. It is also home to the third largest film industry in the country.
San Antonio is also growing in popularity as a destination. This historic city offers a lot for the tourist and the family. It is known for having one of the largest Latin-speaking populations in the nation. It has a strong economic presence and is a popular destination for people moving from other parts of Texas.
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