George Washington, our first commercial developer
Donald Trump is a successful commercial developer, aside from three to four bankruptcies that may be par for the course. George Washington was a commercial developer whose projects didn’t always pan out.
One of his big ideas actually brought together the first continental congress and that was to discuss the issue of the Potomac River development and where the line should be drawn between Virginia and Maryland.
Washington wanted to build a canal system that would bypass the Great Falls that is otherwise not navigable. That required government support and multistate collaboration.
Washington wanted to build a grand city at the canal bypass called Matildaville. Matildaville would house the canal workers as well as host visitors and travelers in a hotel.
He built the complex and canals that would enable supplies and pioneers to travel westward. The strategy was to populate the unsettled west with Americans before the Spanish and French could get a foothold. The strategy worked, though George didn’t make much money from the development. He did not foresee the invention of trains that would carry cargo westward farther and faster than the slow boats.
Here are pictures of what remains of the George Washington venture as I walked around there yesterday.
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Arlington, Virginia, United States