The farming settlement established on Sept. 16, 1851 by
Collins, Van Asselt and the Mapels was originally known as "Collins".
Luther Collins, who was named the County Commissioner
and appointed himself road supervisor for all of King County, routed the
main road from Seattle to Tacoma to go right by his house. The road led to
a ferry, called the Collins Ferry, which took passengers across the Duwamish
River. Fares ranged from 12 1/2 for a "footman" (someone walking) to 50˘
for a man with a horse.
Rainier Brewing Company's original Rainier Brewery,
once reportedly the sixth-largest brewery in the world, began operations in
1882. Now called the Georgetown Brewhouse, the red brick brewery, home to
artists and small businesses, dominates the commercial district along
Airport Way S.
As a home to saloons and breweries, Georgetown
incorporated in 1904 largely as a defense against prohibitionist.
Georgetown existed as an independent city from 1904 to
1910, when it was annexed by Seattle; the Old Georgetown City Hall (1909) is
now on the National Register of Historic Places as is the Georgetown Steam
Plant (1906). The movement for annexation began in 1906 but did not gain
significant support until 1909. Following presentation of a petition for an
annexation vote, a special election was held on March 29, 1910. The
annexation proposition passed with 389 votes in favor and 238 opposed. The
City of Georgetown was officially consolidated with Seattle on April 4, 1910
At some point the settlement became known as "Dwamish"
which was the name of the Post Office established there in 1874 (and also
name of the native peoples who lived here).
The Horton brothers Julius and Dexter, arrived in 1871,
and purchased 160 acres of Collins' original claim. The brothers were very
different in personality but both were very ambitious. While Dexter was
against the drinking of alcohol, his brother Julius saw the possibilities of
making money through the brewing business and land development.
On his land, Julius grew hops, which was the necessary
ingredient in making beer. In 1882, he sold 1 1/4 acres of land to Edward
Sweeney and William Rule to build what would become known as the Rainier
Chronicle-March 28, 1902
"Georgetown is now the
place where the gambling clement of Seattle holds forth, and the town is
"Wide open" in its fullest sense. Not even on Sunday did the gamblers stop
their work. All day and all night they ply their vocation in the seven
saloons which are now located in that suburb. Two more saloons arc now in
process of erection. Koilotlo, craps, Klondike, black jack, stud poker,
California poker, wheel of fortune and slot machines are the games that are
being mainly played."
In his famous, possibly apocryphal, speech of 1854, Chief
Seattle is said to
have warned his new neighbors that "the dead are not
altogether powerless." Perhaps Chief Seattle was right when he told settlers
to beware, for "at night, when the streets of your cities and villages shall
be silent, and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning
hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land."