THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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AUGUSTA, the capital of Maine, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Kennebec county, on the Kennebec river1 (at the head of navigation), 44 m. from its mouth, 62 m. by rail N.E. of Portland, and 74 m. S.W. of Bangor. Pop. (1890) 10,527; (1900) 11,683, of whom 2131 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 13,211. It is served by the Maine Central railway, by several electric lines, and by steamboat lines to Portland, Boston and several other ports. It is built on a series of terraces, mostly on the west bank of the river, which is spanned here by a bridge 1100 ft. long. The state house, built of granite quarried in the vicinity, occupies a commanding site along the south border of the city, and in it is the state library. The Lithgow library is a city public library. Near the state house is the former residence of James G. Blaine. On the other side of the river, nearly opposite, is the Maine insane hospital. Among other prominent buildings are the court house, the post office and the city hall. In one of the parks is a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument. By means of a dam across the river, 17 ft. high and nearly 600 ft. long, good water-power is provided, and the city manufactures cotton goods, boots and shoes, paper, pulp and lumber. A leading industry is the printing and publishing of newspapers and periodicals, several of the periodicals published here having an enormous circulation. The total value of the factory products in 1905 was ,886,833. Augusta occupies the site of the Indian village, Koussinoc, at which the Plymouth Colony established a trading post about 1628. In 1661 Plymouth sold its interests, and soon afterward the four purchasers abandoned the post. In 1754, however, their heirs brought about the erection here of Fort Western, the main building of which is still standing at the east end of the bridge, opposite the city hall. Augusta was originally a part of the township of hallowell (incorporated in 1771); in 1797 the north part of hallowell was incorporated as a separate town and named Harrington; and later in the same year the name was changed to Augusta. It became the county-seat in 1799; was chosen by the Maine legislature as the capital of the state in 1827, but was not occupied as such until the completion of the state house in 1831; and was chartered as a city in 1849.

1 The Kennebec was first explored to this point in 1607.


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