Georgetown is located on the north bank of
the upper Kuskokwim River in the Kilbuck-Kuskokwim mountains. It is east
of the mouth of the George River, 16 miles northwest of Red Devil. It
lies at approximately 61░ 53' N Latitude, 157░ 43' W Longitude (Sec. 18,
T021N, R046W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the
Kuskokwim Recording District. The area encompasses 25 sq. miles of land
and 1 sq. miles of water.
middle Kuskokwim area first experienced contact with Europeans when the
Russian explorer Zagoskin sailed upriver to McGrath in 1844. At that
time, Georgetown was known as Keledzhichagat, a summer fish camp for
residents of Kwigiumpainukamiut. Gold was found along the George River
in 1909. This mining settlement and the river were named for three
traders: George Hoffman, George Fredericks and George Morgan. By 1910,
about 300 prospectors were living on the west side of the George River.
About 200 cabins had been built, when a fire swept through the
settlement in 1911, destroying all but 25 cabins. Also saved were the
two general stores in town -- the Kuskokwim Commercial Company and the
Northern Commercial Company. By 1953, the only large structure that
remained at the site was the two-story log house belonging to George
Fredericks. In the 1950s, the present settlement, on the east side of
the George River, began to develop. A State school was established in
1965, and remained until 1970.