Introduction to Augusta, Maine
Augusta, located in Kennebec County is the capital of Maine and is situated near the Kennebec River. The city was named after Augusta Dearborn who was the daughter of the statesman Henry Dearborn who fought in the American Revolutionary War. In 1849 Augusta was chartered as a city.
In 1629 a community was established by English settlers who came from Plymouth Colony. The settlement was primarily a trading post and took the Indian name "Cushnoc" which translates to "head of tide." Fort Western, recognized as the oldest wooden fort in the country, was constructed at Cushnoc in 1754 and utilized as a supply depot and also provided protection for people living in the area. Benedict Arnold and his soldiers briefly stayed at the fort before moving on to partake in the Battle of Quebec.
The region offered very fertile soil for agriculture and the nearby streams were utilized for water power by industries in the Augusta area. The city became known as a mill town after the arrival of the Kennebec & Portland Railroad in 1851. The town also became a center for publishing and shipping. Maine was recognized as a state in 1870 and Augusta became the capital in 1827.
Augusta is home to some of the best golf courses in the state of Maine. The Kennebec Valley is well known for outdoor recreation, including bicycle riding, canoeing, fishing and hiking.
There are numerous noteworthy sites in Augusta including:
- The Maine State Museum features exhibits of Maine's natural history, archaeology, agricultural history, industrial history and natural resources.
- The Old Western Fort is recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
- The State Capital Building offers tours to the public.
- Belgrade Lakes
- Maine Military Historical Society Museum
- Children's Discovery Museum
- The Pine Tree State Arboretum features more than 200 species of trees.
- Kennebec River Rail Trail
- Augusta Civic Center
- Historic Hallowell is known as "the gem of the Kennebec." It provides visitors with an atmosphere similar to an old world village.
The city is served by the Augusta State Airport.
The University of Maine at Augusta offers students a wide variety of degrees and features the Danforth Art Gallery.