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The story of how Georgetown found its grid

If there is one thing that people love the most about Georgetown, it’s the small blocks filled with 18th and 19th century homes. But how exactly did it come to be that way? GM has written about Georgetown’s past a lot, but never much about its actual birth. Today he’ll fix that.

Much of the land that would eventually become Georgetown was originally granted to a Scotsman named Ninian Beall in 1703. Beall named this 705 acre plot of land the Rock of Dumbarton in a reference to his native country.

The location of the land that would become Georgetown became an important aspect to the town’s early development. Located as it is just south of Little Falls, this land is the furthest north that ocean-bound ships could reach on the Potomac. As such, it was a natural location for a tobacco port. Landowner George Gordon constructed a tobacco inspection station along the Potomac shore and soon a thriving commercial port developed. Read more . . . .