Welcome to Georgetown where all roads lead to the sea!
Georgetown is located at the tip of the peninsula between the Brudenell and Montague Rivers. Its harbour was recognized as one of the best anchorages in the colony by French colonial authorities and subsequently by England. The site was designated as a county capital and named after King George III by Captain Samuel Holland in 1765
Historically the Mi’kmaq people camped in the area, using the natural resources and planting gardens. French settlement occurred in the watershed in the mid-18th century and Scots and English
Settlers began to arrive in 1802. It was not until 1830 that the town began to grow and prosper. Georgetown’s future was tied to the sea and over the next 40 years the entire estuary became a shipbuilding and transportation centre. In the 1850s the colony signed a fishing treaty with New England and hundreds of their schooners arrived annually to fish herring north of the Island. They bought supplies and sought shelter in heavy weather in the harbour.
By the 1860’s Georgetown had bankers, blacksmiths, shoe makers, brewers, cabinet makers, a bodger who produced the well-known “Batchilder Chair”, carriage makers, coopers, druggists, general stores, grocers, hotels, milliners, physicians, saddle makers, shipyards, sailmakers, surveyors, tailors, tanners, tinsmiths, watchmakers, a wheelwright and two foundrys. In 1873 Andrew Archibald Macdonald, Georgetown’s Father of Confederation, put forward the motion to join Canada. The PEI Railway reached Georgetown in 1875 and trains were on interlocking schedules with regular ferries to Pictou. Georgetown Harbour was the last port to freeze over in heavy winters. It was often the only point of contact with the mainland. Shipbuilding, fishing, and lumber remained as the major industries for many years.
Today the county capital boasts two schools, a post office, the Kings Playhouse, Court House, the beautiful A.A. Macdonald Memorial Gardens, artisans, stores, restaurants, lodging, a prosperous fishing port, trails, churches, a full-scale replica of the 1903 railway station and a steel fabrication centre.