"I have relationships with people here," Tompkins said. "This is home. These are the people I see every day. You know, I don't see why anyone wouldn't want to make life better where they are."
So Tompkins has committed to keeping the jobs here in Georgetown, whatever the cost. New manufacturing jobs, now growing in the shadows of those idle mills.
"I think we're going to find a way to survive and to get better," said Tompkins. "That's what Americans do. That's what the United States has a history of doing, and Georgetown is no exception."
Algae alone can't save Georgetown, so the city is working to bring in more tourists. It is rebuilding and lengthening the Harbor Walk, which links the city's restaurants and shops.
The city is also now appealing for money to get its bay dredged so the old port town can welcome freight ships and the jobs that come with them.
And then there's the glamour of the movie business. Turns out the city's ancient oak trees are a setting coveted by Hollywood directors. They made "Shag" and "The Notebook" here, and today, they're shooting another big movie. The town is full of so many characters, and like so many other small towns, it's just looking for its next act.
Home is so much more than an address. It's a feeling. While I'd love to open up our home to everyone, I can't. But I would like to share some of the amazing places in Georgetown with you ... and hope it makes you feel just as welcome. Small businesses are so important to our economy ... support them. I promise it won't feel like work, and I promise the good people of Georgetown will make you feel at home, too!
There are so many good places to eat on Front Street, but these are some of my favorites.
BREAKFAST: Thomas Cafe
It's where the locals eat. Try the blueberry pancakes, the fried-green tomatoes or the bread pudding with bourbon sauce. You can not go wrong!
LUNCH: Coffee Break Cafe
Ron makes the best latte in the South, and the sandwiches are to die for. Stacked high, homemade, and sweet people! A must!
DINNER: Rice Paddy
A wonderful restaurant in a historic bank building. Try the Bacon Wrapped Shad Roe served with grits. You will cry.
DESSERT: Harvest Moon
A sweet ice-cream shop, named after a Yankee vessel sunk during the Civil War. You can actually still see part of the ships smokestack in the bay, when the tide is low.
Also, check out Scotts Barbecue in Hemmingway, S.C., about 45 minutes away, or nearby Hogs Heaven.
STAY: Harbor House
A wonderful bed and breakfast in Georgetown's Historic District. All the rooms have views of the harbor and the owner, Meg Tarbox, is a killer chef.
Doodlebugs: An adorable boutique for kids clothing. Wonderful smocking for babies. I get all of my son's "special" outfits from there. Ginger will take care of you.
The Kudzu Bakery: It sells everything from grits to wonderful homemade jellies. My favorite jelly is called Frog jelly. I've assure you there are no frogs in it.
Take the Swamp Fox Tour. You'll see the jeep with the blue-and-white canopy.
Just down the road, visit Huntington Beach State Park. I challenge anyone to find a prettier beach. I love to walk there in the fall and spring, and it's better than any pill at reducing your blood pressure.