Named after a trio of traders that coincidentally shared the name, George, Georgetown and nearby George River were named after George Hoffman, George Fredericks and George Morgan. The village is located along the north bank of the upper Kuskokwim River in the Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains, about 16 miles northwest of Red Devil.
It was originally called Keledzhichagat by nearby residents of Kwigiumpainukamiut, who used it as a summer fish camp. Russian Naval Explorers first made contact with residents of the area in the mid-1800’s but it wasn’t until gold was discovered in 1909 that the area began to flourish.
In under a year the village grew to 300 people, mostly prospectors, who settled along the west bank of the George River. But in 1911, a fire destroyed all but 25 cabins and by 1953 the only remaining structure was the two-story log cabin belonging to George Fredericks.
A second settlement, also named Georgetown, was developed on the east side of George River and a school was established in 1965. But as mining activities wound down, residents were forced to seek employment in surrounding communities. According to the 2000 census, only three people live year-round in Georgetown.
In 1971, with the passing of ANCSA, the Native Village of Georgetown – a federally recognized tribe was created. Over 120 Descendants are enrolled, according to the Georgetown Tribal Council. Tribal members are primarily Yup’ik Eskimos and Tainana Athabascans who continue to reside in surrounding communities.
The Tribal Council created a Facebook page in 2009, which can be found at www.facebook.com/Georgetowntribalcouncil