Image: Augusta (Maine)

Augusta (Maine)

Augusta (Maine), city and capital of Maine and seat of Kennebec County, on the Kennebec River, in the southwestern part of the state. In addition to government services, tourism and manufacturing are important to the local economy. Of interest are the State House, designed by Charles Bulfinch and completed in 1832; Fort Western, built in 1754 and now restored as a museum; the executive mansion, former home of the politician James G. Blaine; and the Maine State Museum. The University of Maine at Augusta (1965) is in Augusta. The Belgrade Lakes, a vacation spot, are nearby.

The community was founded in 1628 as a

The community was founded in 1628 as a trading post by members of the Plymouth Colony of Massachusetts. Fort Western, the first permanent structure here, was used as a supply base during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). During the American Revolution (1775-1783), General Benedict Arnold assembled some 1,100 men at the fort for his unsuccessful march on the British in Quebec. Augusta has been known as Cushnoc or Koussinoc (1625-1771), Hallowell (1771-1797), and Harrington (1797). The present name, adopted in late 1797, honors Pamela Augusta Dearborn, daughter of Henry Dearborn, a soldier in the American Revolution and a representative of the District of Maine in the Congress of the United States. In 1832 Augusta replaced Portland as the state capital. It was incorporated as a city in 1849. Population 21,819 (1980); 21,325 (1990); 18,560 (2000); 18,626 (2005 estimate).

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