During the American Revolution, Georgetown served as a depot for the collection and shipment of military supplies. When the town was incorporated in 1789, it continued to thrive as a textile mill, a paper factory and flour mills flourished on the waterfront. By an act of Congress, Georgetown was made the port of entry for imported goods for all the waters and shores from the Pomonky Creek north of the Potomac River, to the head of the navigable waters of the Potomac. Further stimulating the economy, the opening of the canal system of the Potomac Canal Company from 1785 to 1802 made Georgetown a terminal port at tidewater for much of the western trade.
Georgetown was profoundly affected by the establishment of the District of Columbia as the nation's capital. Although Georgetown was included in the new District, it retained its distinct character and became the center of Washington's social and diplomatic life in the early part of the 19th century. As the federal city developed, Georgetown's business and social affairs shifted from the waterfront to Bridge Street (now M Street), which became the principal avenue of approach to the new capital from the west. Many legislators and their families stayed in the Georgetown hotels and taverns, and did their shopping there as well.
By the time World War I was over, Georgetown had gained a reputation as one of Washington's worst slums. This trend began to reverse itself in the 1930s, when New Deal politicians and government officials rediscovered its charm and convenience to Washington. Georgetown became once again the chic enclave for the affluent and political. Nowhere is the revitalization effort more evident than the lively commercial district on M Street and Wisconsin. Filled with shops, restaurants and other businesses, this area is the one of the major centers of activity in Washington, DC.
Georgetown's Commercial Buildings are located in the heart of the Georgetown Historic District
between M St. and the waterfront. The Farmers and Mechanics Branch Riggs Bank is open
during banking hours.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is open to the public during daylight
hours. For more information, please call 301/739-4200.
The Old Stone House is located at 3051 M St., NW and is
open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more
information, please call 202/426-6851. Metro stop: Foggy Bottom