George” was the name of the small Maryland river town on the Potomac River founded in 1751, forty years before Washington, D.C. Thanks to its location near the falls of the Potomac as well as the tobacco plantations that provided a commodity to be shipped, Georgetown became a bustling port. It was a gritty place, with wharves and rowdy taverns. Once the river silted up, however, the tobacco trade dwindled and Georgetown’s economy required a new engine to drive it. This came in the form of mills constructed along the waterfront. You’ll see what has become of them on this walk. First, though, stroll past the little houses resided in by the waterfront inhabitants. Lock #3 of the C & O Canal comes next, followed by a panoramic view from the edge of the Potomac River. A tiny neighborhood once called “Brickyard Hill” now boasts a luxury hotel constructed around a former incinerator as well as a quaint Episcopal church. Alley life is revealed with a trek into Cherry Hill. Then peek inside what was once Georgetown’s public market.
Led by Carolyn