Georgetown began in 1751 when the Maryland Assembly authorized the foundation of a town bordering the Potomac River. It was named George Town in honor of King George II, and very soon it prospered through its tobacco and shipping, gaining a reputation as the fashionable quarter of the nation's captital. It was annexed to Washington in 1871, then suffered economic depression in 1891, becoming a slum. With the 1930s New Deal, Georgetown emerged once again as the enclave for the affluent and political genre.
Today, Georgetown boasts many attractions, including the C&O Canal, a scenic park with 180 miles of biking and hiking trails, and the Old Stone House, the oldest intact house in the area, built in 1765. The cemeteries of Georgetown offer a unique historical perspective, especially Oak Hill Cemetery with its Gothic chapel and gates designed by James Renwick, the architect responsible for the Smithsonian Castle and the Renwick Gallery.