The farming settlement established on Sept. 16, 1851 by Collins, Van Asselt and the Mapels was originally known as "Collins".
Luther Collins, who was named the County Commissioner and appointed himself road supervisor for all of King County, routed the main road from Seattle to Tacoma to go right by his house. The road led to a ferry, called the Collins Ferry, which took passengers across the Duwamish River. Fares ranged from 12-1/2¢ for a "footman" (someone walking) to 50¢ for a man with a horse.
Rainier Brewing Company's original Rainier Brewery, once reportedly the sixth-largest brewery in the world, began operations in 1882. Now called the Georgetown Brewhouse, the red brick brewery, home to artists and small businesses, dominates the commercial district along Airport Way S.
As a home to saloons and breweries, Georgetown incorporated in 1904 largely as a defense against prohibitionist.
Georgetown existed as an independent city from 1904 to 1910, when it was annexed by Seattle; the Old Georgetown City Hall (1909) is now on the National Register of Historic Places as is the Georgetown Steam Plant (1906). The movement for annexation began in 1906 but did not gain significant support until 1909. Following presentation of a petition for an annexation vote, a special election was held on March 29, 1910. The annexation proposition passed with 389 votes in favor and 238 opposed. The City of Georgetown was officially consolidated with Seattle on April 4, 1910
At some point the settlement became known as "Dwamish" which was the name of the Post Office established there in 1874 (and also name of the native peoples who lived here).
The Horton brothers Julius and Dexter, arrived in 1871, and purchased 160 acres of Collins' original claim. The brothers were very different in personality but both were very ambitious. While Dexter was against the drinking of alcohol, his brother Julius saw the possibilities of making money through the brewing business and land development.
On his land, Julius grew hops, which was the necessary ingredient in making beer. In 1882, he sold 1 1/4 acres of land to Edward Sweeney and William Rule to build what would became known as the Rainier Brewery.