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Georgetown, Texas

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Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown, Texas
Nickname(s): Red Poppy Capital of Texas, Retirement Capital of Texas, Gtown
Motto: "Sincerely Yours"

Location of Georgetown, Texas
Country United States
State Texas
County Williamson
Incorporated 1848
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Dale Ross
Patty Eason
Troy Hellmann
Danny Meigs
Bill Sattler
Jerry Hammerlun
Rachael Jonrowe
Tommy Gonzalez
 • City Manager David Morgan
 • Land 47.86 sq mi (124.0 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)
Elevation 755 ft (230 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 47,400
 • Density 990.4/sq mi (382.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 78626, 78627, 78628 & 78633
Area code(s) 512 & 737
FIPS code 48-29336[1]
GNIS feature ID 1357960[2]
The Georgetown Heritage Center is located in a former church building downtown.
The Georgetown Public Library
The unusually designed M. B. Lockett building in Courthouse Square in Georgetown

Georgetown is a city in and the

Georgetown is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by the Republican Larry Gonzales of Round Rock.


  • Geography 1
    • Major highways 1.1
    • Endangered species 1.2
  • Climate 2
  • Education 3
  • Government and politics 4
    • City government 4.1
    • County government 4.2
    • State and national representation 4.3
  • Economic development 5
    • Interstate Highway 35 location 5.1
    • Sun City 5.2
    • List of major employers 5.3
  • Sites of interest 6
  • Notable people 7
  • Movies filmed all or partly in Georgetown 8
  • Demographics 9
  • History 10
    • Prehistoric era 10.1
    • Early history 10.2
    • Modern history 10.3
    • Burkland-Frisk House 10.4
    • Historic neighborhoods 10.5
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Georgetown is located at (30.651187, −97.681333),[5] 26 miles (42 km) north of Austin's 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) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (8.42 percent) is water.

The city is located on the northeastern edge of Balcones Escarpment,[6] a fault line in which the areas roughly east of IH-35 are flat and characterized by having black, fertile soils of the Blackland Prairie, and the west side of the Escarpment which consists mostly of hilly, karst-like terrain with little topsoil and higher elevations and which is part of the Texas Hill Country. Inner Space Cavern, a large cave, is a major tourist attraction found on the south side of the city, just west of Interstate 35, Interstate 35 and is a large-scale example of limestone karst formations.[2]

The North and Middle Forks of the San Gabriel River both run through the city, providing over 30 miles of hike and bike trails, several parks and recreation for both residents and visitors.

Major highways

Endangered species

Georgetown is home to five endangered species. Two endangered species are songbirds protected by the Karst topography is the name for the honeycomb type limestone formations (including caves, sinkholes and fissures) that are typical in the county's limestone geology west of Interstate 35.

In the 1990s, a small group of concerned landowners and developers formed the Northern Edwards Aquifer Resource Council (NEARC) with the goal of obtaining a United States Fish and Wildlife Service 10-A permit (known as an Incidental Take Permit) for the entire county by identifying and preserving a sufficient number of caves with endangered species to ensure survival of the species.,[7] These species would be preserved through voluntary donations of land rather than required setbacks and other involuntary means typically enforced on landowners without an incidental take permit. The group transferred their successful work on an Environmental Impact Statement to the county in 2002 and a county-wide 10-A permit was obtained in October 2008.[8]


According to the humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[9] Georgetown, like much of Central Texas, is characterized by its long and hot summers with cooler, mild winters. The average summer temperature typically reaches 100 degrees for several days 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.

Winters in Georgetown have highs in the 50s and 60s 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 80s well into December and 70s 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.


The City of Georgetown is served by the Georgetown High School, a National Blue Ribbon Award School, serves the community. Georgetown opened a second high school, East View High, in 2008. The graduating class of 2014 was the first class of students to graduate from East View as a full high school. Up to that point, East View High School had started as a Freshman only campus, and added on one grade at a time as these students moved up.

Georgetown is also the home of Southwestern University. Southwestern is a private, four-year, undergraduate, liberal arts college. Founded in 1840, Southwestern is the oldest university in Texas. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church although the curriculum is nonsectarian. Southwestern offers 40 bachelor's degrees in the arts, sciences, fine arts, and music as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Association of Schools of Music.[10]

Government and politics

City government

The City of Georgetown is a “Council-Manager form of government. Under this form of government, the City Council provides leadership by establishing the city’s goals and policies. The city council appoints a full-time city manager to achieve the desired end set by the city council. The manager oversees the day-to-day activities of the city, all city departments, and executes council established laws and policies.

The city council is composed of seven council members elected by geographic districts and a mayor elected at-large. Each position is elected for a term of three years, with council districts with staggered election dates. Paul E. Brandenburg served as city manager from 2002 until recently. Currently, the City is conducting a search for his successor.[11]

County government

The Williamson County courthouse after its 2006–2007 renovation.

The Commissioners Court commissioners court is the overall governing and management body of Williamson County. The commissioners court consists of five members. The county judge presides as chairman over the court, and is elected every four years by all voters in the county. Four commissioners are elected by single-member precincts every four years. The majority of Georgetown is within Precinct 3 with a small portion in Precinct 1.

  • County Judge-Honorable Dan A. Gattis
  • Precinct 1-Commissioner Lisa Birkman
  • Precinct 2-Commissioner Cynthia Long
  • Precinct 3-Commissioner Valerie Covey
  • Precinct 4-Commissioner Ron Morrison

State and national representation

Economic development

Interstate Highway 35 location

A residential condominium project overlooking the San Gabriel River is part of the San Gabriel Village mixed-use "walk-friendly" development. Photo by Don Martin.

Without question the single most important issue relating to economic development was the location of Balcones Escarpment fault line, a line which would later become U.S. Highway 81 and then eventually Interstate 35.[13]

Sun City

The second largest economic development activity in Georgetown history was the selection in 1995 of Georgetown as the site for the first-ever Sun City location in Texas. Originally called Sun City Georgetown, the project today is called Sun City Texas due to its size and the fact that it draws residents from all over the state. As of 2010, approximately 11,500 people live in the massive 5,300-acre (and expanding) community, with an average net worth of over $1,000,000 per person. The economic stimulus, creation of sales tax, banking and investment, and the high rate of community support and volunteerism has had an enormous effect on Georgetown according to recent studies.[14]

A Sun City Texas pool at the most recent neighborhood amenity center at Cowan Creek.

(Redirected from Sun City Georgetown)

Opened in June 1995, Pulte Homes).[15] Residency is restricted to persons over age 55 (at least one person in a couple has to be 55 or older).[16] Sun City Texas is made up mostly of single-family dwellings, but also has duplexes. It is legal to drive golf cars on the streets in the development (under a special Texas license exemption with help from Del Webb), and most shopping and the community facilities all have special parking slots for same.[17]

There has been vocal opposition to the project at times, especially at the start during the zoning process, with arguments against the size of the community, its effect on Georgetown as a family-oriented town, concerns about the costs of providing city utilities, and concern about lowered property taxes fixed for retirees under Texas law, and the disproportionate effect of City voting.[18]

Sun City has had a significant impact on Georgetown in terms of population and demographics.

Georgetown is considered to be one of the best places to retire in the nation because of its fairly warm climate year round, close proximity to both the countryside and Austin, excellent medical care including Wesleyan at Estrella, the Oaks at Wildwood, Heritage Oaks and many others.[21] Various projects offer differing levels of care including assisted living. The city, county, and churches also maintain compassionate care facilities for the elderly at the Bluebonnet Community Residence.

List of major employers

Georgetown's major employers and number of employees as of June 2009: [22]

  • Williamson County Government (1,700)
  • Georgetown Independent School District (1,650)
  • St. David's Georgetown Hospital (650)
  • Airborn, Inc. (550)
  • City of Georgetown (455)
  • Southwestern University (450)
  • Caring Home Health (400)
  • Wesleyan Homes, Inc., (290)
  • Sun City (Del Webb) (260)
Blue Hole Park is a popular swimming area in Georgetown, located on the North Fork of the San Gabriel River. It is located just five blocks from downtown Georgetown


Sites of interest

  • Williamson County Courthouse
  • Williamson County Art Guild
  • Sun City Texas
  • Blue Hole Park
  • San Gabriel Park
  • Georgetown Firefighters Museum
  • Inner Space Cavern
  • Southwestern University
  • Lake Georgetown
  • Georgetown Municipal Airport
  • The Levy House
  • 23rd Squirrel Records
  • Palace Theater
The Palace Theater is a historic theater in downtown Georgetown

Notable people

  • [24]
  • [26]

Movies filmed all or partly in Georgetown

List partly from material provided by the Texas Film Commission[27]


As of the 2010 census, the population density was 990.4 people per square mile (382.4/km2).[30]

As of the census[1] 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 per square mile (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 women age 18 and over, there were 91.1 men.

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.


Prehistoric era

Example of a Clovis fluted blade that is 11,000 years old.

Georgetown has been the site of human habitation since at least 9,000 B.C., and possibly considerably before that. The earliest known inhabitants of the county, during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age), can be linked to the

  • City of Georgetown website
  • Main Street Georgetown
  • Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Williamson County Historical Commission page on Georgetown
  • Current and future development and neighborhood map
  • Southwestern University
  • Inner Space Cavern
  • Georgetown ISD
  • Georgetown Heritage Society
  • The Williamson Museum
  • Three-Legged Willie
  • Georgetown from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Georgetown Chamber of Commerce
  • Georgetown Public Library

External links

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Georgetown Mainstreet History
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ Balcones Escarpment from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 11 May 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  7. ^ Barrios, Jennifer (30 September 2004). "Grant will help creepier residents. $2.35 million to save beetles, spiders and other endangered species".  
  8. ^ Doolittle, David (October 23, 2008). "Plan to protect species gets OK; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service gives approval.". Austin American-Statesman. 
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Georgetown, Texas
  10. ^ WorldHeritage: Southwestern University
  11. ^
  12. ^ Scarbrough, Linda (2009). Road, River and Good Ol' Boy Politics: A Texas County's Path from Farm to Supersuburb. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association. p. Chapter 13.  
  13. ^ Scarbrough, Linda (2009). Road, River and Good Ol' Boy Politics: A Texas County's Path from Farm to Supersuburb. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association. p. 245.  
  14. ^ Rasmussen, Blake; Suzanne Haberman (August 13, 2010). "Fifteen years later, Sun City still drives city growth". Community Impact Newspaper. p. A1. 
  15. ^ Novak, Shonda (April 9, 2009). "Builders Pulte, Centex to combine in deal with national significance, Merger might be sign of industry rebound". Austin American-Statesman. p. B–07. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  16. ^ Ward, Pamela (November 9, 1996). "ON COURSE FOR A GRAND OPENING IN SUN CITY". Austin American-Statesman. p. B–1. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  17. ^ "Del Webb Sun City Texas, About Our Community". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ Banta, Bob (April 10, 2008). "Mayoral hopefuls let their work talk". Austin American-Statesman. pp. W–01. 
  19. ^ a b Rasmussen, Blake; Suzanne Haberman (August 13, 2010). "Fifteen years later Sun City still drives Georgetown growth". Community Impact Newspaper. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  20. ^ David Savageu (2007-08-24). Retirement Places Rated (Seventh Edition). Wiley.  
  21. ^ Shaver, Karin (October 7, 2007). "New Housing Developments; The Wesleyan at Estrella". Community Impact News. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Pitching Splits and Daily Pitching Logs at Retrosheet and
  24. ^ "W. E. "Pete" Snelson (1923-2014)".  
  25. ^ """H. Allan Anderson of Lubbock, Texas, "John Wesley Snyder.  
  26. ^ "Paul Womack's Biography".  
  27. ^ Katie Kelley, Office Manager – Texas Film Commission. Email July 23, 2009
  28. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Georgetown QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "Handbook of Texas Online, "Gault Site" entry". Texas State History Association. Retrieved 2010-07-18 
  32. ^ Thompson, Karen R.; Jane H. Digesualado. Historical Round Rock Texas. Austin, Texas: Nortex Press (Eakin Publications). pp. 4, 7. 
  33. ^ Pre-history" Handbook of Texas entry""". 
  34. ^ Williamson County" Handbook of Texas entry""". 
  35. ^ "Williamson, Robert McAlpin (Three Legged Willie)". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  36. ^ McLemore, Andrew (August 15, 2010). "Cotton County". Williamson County Sun. 
  37. ^ Scarbrough, Linda (2009). Road, River and Good Ol' Boy Politics: A Texas County's Path from Farm to Supersuburb. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association. pp. 36, 42.  
  38. ^ Scarbrough, Linda (2009). Road, River and Good Ol' Boy Politics: A Texas County's Path from Farm to Supersuburb. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association. p. 233.  
  39. ^
  40. ^ Dorsch, Jeff (20 January 2002). "Twin to Texas Chainsaw Massacre House Moves to Georgetown". Williamson County Sun. 
  41. ^ Matt Phillips. "TCM Sister House". web publication. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  42. ^ Georgetown Texas. National Trust for Historic Places. 1977.
  43. ^ Georgetown Texas. Georgetown, Texas 1997 Great American Main Street Award Winner. National Trust for Historic Places. 1977.


  • Williamson County Courthouse District
  • Belford National District
  • The University Avenue/Elm Street District

Georgetown has three National Register Historic Districts:

[43]The city was recently named one of the best places to purchase a historic house. Today, Georgetown is home to one of the best preserved Victorian and Pre-WW1 downtown historic districts, with The Beaux-Arts [42] In the 1970s, Georgetown's downtown was bleak and featureless. In an effort to modernize and compete with suburban retail development, building owners in the ‘50s and ‘60s obscured one of their most priceless resources – their retail buildings. The Texas-Victorian streetscape was plastered with stucco, aluminum covers, brick, and multiple layers of white paint. But community leaders had begun putting new stock back into their architectural heritage. Georgetown's resurrected interest in its historic resources came at a time when the cost of borrowing money was soaring. Interest rates near 20 percent might have been a deterrent elsewhere. In Georgetown, every bank offered significantly lower interest loans for the renewal of the town's grand Victorian buildings and facades. And rehabilitation tax credit programs in the 1980s made investing in historic property an even more lucrative enterprise. By 1984, 40 rehabilitations were complete. A mere two years after its Main Street program was founded, more than half the Main Street district had undergone some kind of positive transition.

Historic neighborhoods

A densely overgrown 1908–1910 Victorian house was found in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and which was also cut into seven pieces and was moved to Kingsland, Texas, to become part of the Antlers Hotel (Kingsland, Texas).[40] It was moved in 2006 and restored by the developers of La Frontera, Don Martin and Bill Smalling (1953–2008) and sits on San Gabriel Village Blvd prominently overlooking the South San Gabriel River. The house was a "pattern book" house, ordered from a catalog and assembled on site from a package of materials brought by wagon from a local lumber company. Research indicates it was likely built between 1908 and 1910 [41] and is now used as an office.

Burkland-Frisk House

This 1900–1910 "pattern book" house was moved to Georgetown from South San Gabriel River
Typical downtown Georgetown buildings on "The Square"

In March of 2015 Georgetown announced that their Municipal Owned Utility, Georgetown Utility Systems, would begin procuring 100% of its power for its customers from wind and solar farms by 2017, effectively making the City 100% green powered.[39]

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 2008, Fortune Small Business Magazine named Georgetown the No. 2 best city in the nation to "live and launch" a new business.

Both Georgetown and Round Rock own the water rights to Lake Georgetown for municipal water use. [38] The flood and its horrific destruction culminated in the building of a dam on the north fork of the San Gabriel River to create and impound [37] Extensive damage and loss of life throughout the county from a 1921 flood led Georgetown to seek flood control. A low pressure system from a hurricane settled in over Williamson County and brought more than 23 inches of rain in Taylor and 18 plus inches of rain in Georgetown. An estimated 156 persons perished in the flood, many of them farm laborers .

Primarily to transport cattle and bales of cotton, at one time Georgetown was served by two national railroads, the Round Rock and at Granger.

Georgetown was an agrarian community for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Southwestern University in 1873 and construction of a railroad in 1878 contributed to the town's growth and importance. A stable economy developed, based largely on agricultural activity. Cotton was the dominant crop in the area between the 1880s and the 1920s. Williamson County was the top producer of cotton in the State of Texas.[36]

The Cullen Building on the campus of Southwestern University shortly after completion (circa 1900).

Georgetown was named for Milam County. The county was originally to have been named San Gabriel County, but was instead named after Robert McAlpin Williamson (a.k.a. Three-Legged Willie), a Texas statesman and judge at the time.[35]

Modern history

The earliest known historical occupants of the county, the Tonkawas, were a flint-working, hunting people who followed buffalo on foot and periodically set fire to the prairie to aid them in their hunts. During the eighteenth century they made the transition to a horse culture and used firearms to a limited extent. There also appear to have been small numbers of Kiowa, Yojuane, Tawakoni, and Mayeye Indians living in the county at the time of the earliest Anglo settlements.[34] Even after most native Americans were crowded out by white settlement, the Comanches continued to raid settlements in the county until the 1860s.

Early history


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