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Georgetown, Colorado was founded in 1859 by gold prospectors from Kentucky named George and David Griffith (Georgetown was named after the elder brother). There were reports that the Griffith brothers had become lost, but, in any event, they found gold in Clear Creek and decided to settle in the area. The Griffith Mining District was founded the following year, and several residents soon formed the "Georgetown Company" on a 640-acre townsite the center of which was near the modern town's I-70 interchange.
Georgetown was founded during Colorado's gold rush, but really grew after James Huff discovered silver in the area on September 14, 1864. In years following, thousands of mines were dug into the mountains surrounding Georgetown, and the valley town became a center for the mining workforce. On January 28, 1868, Georgetown became incorporated and wrested the county seat from Idaho Springs, building its own courthouse in the process (ironically, today Idaho Springs is almost twice the size of Georgetown). The Colorado Central Railroad then arrived from Golden in the 1870s, further fueling Georgetown's growth (the portion of the railroad between Georgetown and Silver Plume remains today as a tourist attraction named the Georgetown Loop).