Augusta, Maine

Augusta, Maine

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Augusta, Maine
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Augusta, Maine, taken from the bridge


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Kennebec County, Maine

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Maine
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Kennebec
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Roger Katz
established_title = Established
established_date = 1754
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 150.9
area_total_sq_mi = 58.3
area_land_km2 = 143.4
area_land_sq_mi = 55.4
area_water_km2 = 7.5
area_water_sq_mi = 2.9
area_water_percent = 4.98
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 24260
population_metro =
population_urban =
population_density_km2 = 129.4
population_density_sq_mi = 335.1
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 44 |latm = 18 |lats = 38 |latNS = N
longd = 69 |longm = 46 |longs = 48 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 20
elevation_ft = 68
website = []
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 207
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 23-02100
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0581636
footnotes =

Augusta is the capital of the U.S. state of Maine, county seat of Kennebec County, and center of population for Maine [] . The city's population is 18,560 (July 2006 est.). Located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide, it is home to the University of Maine at Augusta.


The area was first explored by members of the ill-fated Popham Colony in September 1607. It was first inhabited by English settlers from the Plymouth Colony in 1629 as a trading post on the Kennebec River. The settlement was known by its Indian name -- Cushnoc (or Coussinoc or Koussinoc), meaning "head of tide." Fur trading was at first profitable, but with Indian uprisings and declining revenues, the Plymouth Colony sold the Kennebec Patent in 1661. Cushnoc would remain empty for the next 75 years.

A hotbed of Abenaki hostility toward British settlements was located further up the Kennebec at Norridgewock. In 1722, the tribe and its allies attacked Fort Richmond (now Richmond) and destroyed Brunswick. In response, Norridgewock was sacked in 1724 during Dummer's War, when English forces gained tentative control of the Kennebec. In 1754, a blockhouse named Fort Western (now the oldest wooden fort in America), was built at Cushnoc on the eastern bank. It was intended as a supply depot for Fort Halifax upriver, as well as to protect its own region.cite book |last= Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums |editor=Doris A. Isaacson |title=Maine: A Guide 'Down East' |year=1970 |publisher=Courier-Gazette, Inc. |location=Rockland, Me | pages = 148–152 ] In 1775, Benedict Arnold and his 1100 troops would use Fort Western as a staging area before continuing their journey up the Kennebec to the Battle of Quebec.

Cushnoc was incorporated as part of Hallowell in 1771. Known as "the Fort," it was set off and incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court in February 1797 as Harrington. In August, however, the name changed to Augusta after Augusta Dearborn, daughter of Henry Dearborn. In 1799, it became county seat for newly created Kennebec County. Maine became a state in 1820, and Augusta was designated its capital in 1827. The Maine State Legislature continued meeting in Portland, however, until completion in 1832 of the new Maine State House designed by Charles Bulfinch. Augusta was chartered as a city in 1849.

Excellent soil provided for agriculture, and water power from streams provided for industry. In 1837, a dam was built across the Kennebec where the falls drop 15 feet at the head of tide, and by 1838 10 sawmills were contracted. With the arrival of the Kennebec & Portland Railroad in 1851, Augusta became a mill town. In 1883, the property of A. & W. Spague Company was purchased by the Edwards Manufacturing Company, which erected extensive brick mills for manufacturing cotton textiles. Other Augusta firms produced lumber, sash, doors, shutters, broom handles, stone cutters' tools, shoes, cemetery monuments, ice and furniture. The city developed as a publishing and shipping center. Today, government and post-secondary education are important businesses.

Notable residents

* James G. Blaine, Secretary of State/presidential nominee
* Horatio Bridge, U.S. Navy officer
* Richard Dysart, American stage, film and television actor
* Melville Fuller, Illinois politician
* John F. Hill, Maine governor
* George Huntington Hartford, American businessman
* Eastman Johnson, American artist
* George W. Ladd, United States congressman
* Dorianne Laux, American poet
* Rachel Nichols, American actress
* Frederick G. Payne, Maine politician
* David Peoples, U.S. athlete/golfer
* John F. Potter, United States congressman, judge
* Luther Severance, American publisher, congressman & senator
* Olympia Snowe, United States Senator (Republican-Maine)
* Manch Wheeler, U. S. football player
* Reuel Williams, Maine politician
* Willard G. Wyman, American military officer (General)
* Bette Davis, film star (childhood hometown)
* John Philip Sousa, Military Officer, composer (Stars And Strips Forever composed and first performed in Augusta while he was commander of the United States Arsenal).
* J. Alphonse Poulin, American Ballet star Dean of Dance Juliard School of Music.


Augusta is located at coor dms|44|19|25|N|69|45|55|W|type:city_region:US-ME GR|1, making it the easternmost state capital in the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 58.3 square miles (150.9 km²), of which, 55.4 square miles (143.4 km²) of it is land and 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²) of it (4.98%) is water. Augusta is drained by Bond's Brook, Woromontogus Stream and the Kennebec River.

Augusta borders the towns of Manchester to its west, Sidney and Vassalboro to its north, Windsor to its east, Chelsea to its south, and the city of Hallowell to its southwest.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 24,260 people, 8,565 households, and 4,607 families residing in the city. The population density was 335.1 people per square mile (129.4/km²). There were 9,480 housing units at an average density of 171.2/sq mi (66.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.21% White, 0.50% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 0.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,565 households out of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.2% were non-families. 38.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,921, and the median income for a family was $42,230. Males had a median income of $31,209 versus $22,548 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,145. About 11.4% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.


There are six public schools, one private school, one college (the University of Maine at Augusta), and two public libraries in Augusta. [] .

ites of interest

* [ Children's Discovery Museum]
* [ Kennebec Historical Society & Museum]
* Kennebec River Rail Trail -- 6.5 mile riverside trail to Hallowell, Farmingdale and Gardiner
* [ Maine Military Historical Society Museum]
* Maine State House
* [ Maine State Museum]
* [ Old Fort Western]
* Pine Tree State Arboretum


Further reading

* [ The Forgotten Inhabitants of Cushnoc]
* [ History of Augusta, Maine]

External links

* [ City of Augusta, Maine]
* [ Lithgow Public Library]
* [ University of Maine at Augusta]
* [ City Data Profile]
* [ Epodunk City Profile]

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