Georgetown, settled in the late 1800s, grew up around the rail yards and breweries. The Seattle Brewing and Malting Co., maker of Rainier Beer, was built on what is now Airport Way South in 1883. Georgetown incorporated in 1904 and the saloons operated around the clock before Seattle annexed the den of iniquity in 1910. These days Georgetown is one of the city’s hip pockets, and it still retains something of the old “Don’t tread on me” flavor.
The north end of Beacon Hill was settled in the mid-19th century. The hill rises to 350 feet and is separate enough that the city opened an isolation hospital, a “pesthouse,” here 1892, setting a pattern for future dealings between the city and Southeast Seattle. Only in recent history has that changed.
The Rainier Valley has a number of smaller neighborhoods besides Columbia City: Mount Baker, Seward Park, Brighton, Dunlap, Rainier Beach, Lakewood, Genesee, Othello, Graham, New Holly.
Columbia City was originally built and mainly supported by local lumber mill dollars. Resistance to Seattle incorporation in the early 1900s was nothing like Georgetown’s annexation anxiety. Columbia City had no saloons, and certain citizens were leery about demon rum being allowed within the expanded Seattle city limits.