The first European settlement in Delaware was established in 1631 by Dutch colonists, but it wasn’t until 1775 when the actual boundaries of Sussex County were firmly established.

Sussex County government lacked a central location, and this inconvenience prompted county residents to petition the general assembly to move the County Seat to a central location.

The middle of the county was vast, wooded and largely unsettled, but legislators selected 10 commissioners to purchase land and build the necessary infrastructure to run county government. The commissioners, led by George Mitchell - President of the State Senate, negotiated the purchase of 76 acres of land owned by James Pettyjohn.

Georgetown, named for George Mitchell, was founded and incorporated in 1791, and lots were laid out and sold to recoup the state’s investment. The town was laid out in a circle one mile across, centered on the original square surveyed by the commission.

The Circle is now listed in the National Historic Record, and is surrounded by various styles of architecture.

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