Extending in a southwesterly direction, Route 9 ambles from the Delaware Bay at Lewes through Georgetown, and finally to Laurel. Though connected by the same road, these three communities each possess their own distinctive histories and unique characteristics. Dating back to the 1600s, the future site of Lewes was visited by Henry Hudson on his quest for a Northwest passage to Asia, and was bombarded by the British in the War of 1812. Georgetown was founded in 1791, and serves as the county seat and center of government for Sussex County. Laurel was incorporated in 1883. In addition to lumber and poultry industries, the navigable water on Broad Creek allowed a canning industry to flourish, and at one time Laurel became one of the wealthiest towns in the state.