Come visit us at

 120 Broad Street 

 at The History Center 


 Hours: Tues-Fri 11-4, Sat 11-3 

Closed Sunday & Monday

Collections - Industry, Past and Present

 3.JPGGeorgetown’s history of industry goes back to the early 1730’s when ship builders took up their trade along the banks of the Sampit River. We launched as many as thirty-three vessels by 1774. The production of supplies to build these ships occupied many laborers. They harvested lumber and extracted sap from pine trees to distill into turpentine both to use locally and to export. Here at the Museum we have some authentic primitive “catch pots” on display which show how the sap was collected.








Agricultural pursuits in indigo and rice brought wealth for the next 200 years, ending in 1861 with the start of the Civil War. Georgetown limped along through the harsh Reconstruction Period with very little commerce until the 1880’s when we rose to the top again. The Atlantic Coast Lumber Company became the largest lumber mill on the East Coast by 1916. Sadly, economic conditions of the 1930’s caused the decline and closure of the mills.







By 1936 International Paper Company chose Georgetown to be the home of its kraft paper mill. “Kraft” means “strong” and by 1937 the first pulp was made. In 1942, the Container Plant was established at the paper mill which manufactured weatherproof boxes which proved invaluable in shipping supplies overseas during World War II. The Georgetown Mill continues today as our county’s largest employer.
In 1969, German-American steel corporation, Korf Industries, opened its steel mill along the banks of the Sampit River. Today, Liberty Steel now operates this industry.