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Georgetown is a city in and the county seat of Williamson County, Texasmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 28,339 at the 2000 census. Southwestern Universitymarker is located in Georgetown, about 1/2 mile east of the historic square. A popular tourist attraction, Inner Space Cavernmarker is a cave found on the southside of the city, just off Interstate 35.

Geography

Georgetown is located at (30.651187, -97.681333) , 26 miles (42 km) north of Austin'smarker Central Business District.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.9 square miles (64.6 km2), of which, 22.8 square miles (59.1 km2) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) of it (8.42%) is water.

The city is located on the northeastern edge of Texas Hill Country, providing karst topography in western parts with more arable land to the east. The San Gabriel River runs through the city providing over 30 miles of hike and bike trails, several parks and recreation for both residents and visitors.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 28,339 people, 10,393 households, and 7,711 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,241.3 people per square mile (479.3/km2). There were 10,902 housing units at an average density of 477.5/sq mi (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. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.07% of the population.

There were 10,393 households out of which 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 non-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 spread out with 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 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $54,098, and the median income 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.

History

Georgetown, the county seat of Williamson County, was founded in 1848 at the fork of the San Gabriel River. The town 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, just as the Tonkawa Indians, who thrived in the area for many years. In addition, the land was inexpensive and extremely fertile.

Georgetown remained an agrarian community for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries.The establishment of Southwestern Universitymarker in 1873 and construction of a railroad in 1878 contributed to the town's growth and importance. A stable economy was based largely on agriculture, mainly cotton. The Chisholm Trail, a cattle trail that led from Texas to the railcenters in Kansas and Missouri crossed through the heart of Georgetown.

Cotton production became dominant in the area from the 1880s through the 1920s. The Georgetown and Granger Railroad (GGR) was completed to Austinmarker in 1904. Extensive loss from a 1921 flood led Georgetown to seek flood control, an effort that culminated in the building of a dam to impound Lake Georgetownmarker, which opened officially on October 5, 1979. An unlicensed radio station appeared briefly in the 1930s, and Radio Station KGTN opened in 1962. At one time, Georgetown was served by two railroads, the International-Great Northern, which eventually was merged into the Missouri Pacific, and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway. Currently, Georgetown is served by the appropriately named 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.

Population growth and industrial expansion continued modestly in the twentieth century until about 1960, when residential, commercial, and industrial development, due to major growth and urban expansion of nearby Austin, greatly accelerated. In fact, Fortune Small Business Magazine in a 2008 publication named Georgetown the No. 2 best city in the nation to live and launch.

In the historic neighborhoods, adaptive restoration has been widely practiced, with special emphasis on a Main Street program and private restoration of older homes. The city was recently named one of the best places to purchase an 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. In 1998, the city celebrated its 150th birthday with numerous community activities and parties. By 2000, Georgetown and Williamson County experienced tremendous growth, doubling the population.

In 2008, Georgetown was named by Fortune Small Business Magazine as the Second Best Place in America to "Live and Launch and Business". It's robust and diverse local economy, highly skilled workforce, and business friendly climate make it an exceptional place to own a business.

Founding

The Tonkawa and Comanche Indians were some of the earliest to have a lived on the San Gabriel river many years before the arrival of the Spanish and settlers. Archaeologists have found evidence of Indian habitation that dates back some 11,700 years. Spanish Jesuits founded a short-lived mission in the area in the 1730's, but it was abandoned after only two years.

Georgetown, Texas 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 out of Milam Countymarker. The county was originally to have been named San Gabriel County, but was instead named after Robert McAlpin Williamson (aka Three-Legged Willie), a Texas statesman and judge at the time.

Georgetown was founded in 1848. In 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., 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 , with his partner Thomas B. Huling.

The early Georgetown was a population of immigrants with Swedish, German, Austrian, Swiss, Moravian and Czech settlers joining transplanted Americans from Tennessee, South Carolina and other Southern states.

Retirement Capital of Texas

In addition to being well known as having one of the best preserved and active historic downtowns in Texas, Georgetown is considered to be one of the best places to retire in the nation due to its fairly warm climate year round, close proximity to both the countryside and Austin, excellent medical care including Alzheimer's care, and because of its increasing population of retirees. in 2007, Georgetown was named by Retirement Places Rated (Seventh Edition) as the Best Placein America to Retire. Part of this is due to the fact that Sun City Texas,a new and large comunity for the elderly, calls the Georgetown home. More than ten thousand residents aged 55 and older reside there. Other active adult communities are also offered in Georgetown, including the Oaks at Wildwood, a single story maintenance free community. The city, county, and churches maintain compassionate care facilities for the elderly and other homeless at Bluebonnet and at less-expensive motels throughout the town.

Weather

Georgetown, like much of Central Texas, is characterized by its long and hot summers with cooler, very mild winters. The average summer temperature tops out at around 100 degrees during July and August. It is common for highs to be near 90 well into October but by this time the nights are noticeably cooler, giving the weather a more desert like feel.

Winters in Georgetown have highs in the 50s and 60’s with a few days dropping near freezing, providing the region with one or two ice storms per season. On the other hand, a few days will reach well above the average. It is not uncommon for the region to experience 80’s well into December and 70's in January.

Fall, winter and spring all average about two to three inches of rain per month while July and August are the driest averaging only one to two inches and sometimes will provide no precipitation at all. Most of what rain does fall during the long summer months comes from the outflow of Gulf storms that are often pushed away from the region by a large summer high pressure.

Georgetown sees over 300 days of at least partly cloudy skies per year with over 225 of those days being mostly sunny to sunny.

Education

The City of Georgetown is served by the Georgetown Independent School District.

Sites of interest

The Williamson County courthouse after its 2006-2007 renovation.


References



External links




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