Georgetown was officially formed in 1751 when the Maryland Assembly authorized the foundation of a town bordering the Potomac River. It was named George Town in honor of King George II, and very soon it prospered. In the beginning, tobacco was the lifeblood of the fledging community, which soon expanded into a profitable shipping community. Because of its access to the Potomac, Georgetown soon had a commercial and industrial hub around the waterfront where flour mills and wharves were constructed. As a result of its prosperity, Georgetown gained a reputation as the fashionable quarter of the capital and was visited by important people from all over the world.