Augusta, Maine: Wikis

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Augusta, Maine
—  City  —
West side of Augusta, Maine, taken from the bridge

Flag

Seal
Location in Kennebec County, Maine
Coordinates: 44°18′38″N 69°46′48″W / 44.31056°N 69.78°W / 44.31056; -69.78
Country United States
State Maine
County Kennebec
Settled 1754
Incorporated (town) February 20, 1797
Incorporated (city) August 20, 1849
Government
 - Mayor Roger Katz
Area
 - Total 58.3 sq mi (150.9 km2)
 - Land 55.4 sq mi (143.4 km2)
 - Water 2.9 sq mi (7.5 km2)  4.98%
Elevation 68 ft (20 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 18,560
 Density 335.1/sq mi (129.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-02100
GNIS feature ID 0581636
Website www.augustamaine.gov

Augusta is the capital of the U.S. state of Maine, county seat of Kennebec County, and center of population for Maine [1]. The city's population was 18,560 at the 2000 census, making it the third-smallest state capital after Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota. Located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide, it is home to the University of Maine at Augusta.

Contents

History

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.[1] 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.[1] 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.

Geography

Augusta is located at 44°19′25″N 69°45′55″W / 44.32361°N 69.76528°W / 44.32361; -69.76528 [2], 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.

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 18,560 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.

Government

Augusta is governed via a mayor-council system. The mayor is elected at-large to a three year term. The city council consists of eight members: four are elected from single member wards, and the other four are elected at-large.

Education

There are five public schools, one private school, one college (the University of Maine at Augusta), and two public libraries in Augusta. [2]. Farrington, Gilbert, Hussey, and Lincoln are the four public elementary schools that are spread through the city. Cony High School is the public high school that students from Augusta and surrounding towns can attend. St. Michaels is the private Catholic school that children from Augusta and surround towns may attend for tuition.

Sites of interest

Notable residents

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Doris A. Isaacson. ed. Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc.. pp. 148–152. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 44°19′25″N 69°45′55″W / 44.323535°N 69.765261°W / 44.323535; -69.765261

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1911 encyclopedia

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Simple English

Augusta, Maine
Augusta, Maine, taken from the bridge
Location in Kennebec County, Maine
Coordinates: 44°18′38″N 69°46′48″W / 44.31056°N 69.78°W / 44.31056; -69.78
County Kennebec County
Established 1754
Government
 - Mayor Roger J. Katz
Area
 - Total 150.9 km2 (58.3 sq mi)
 - Land 143.4 km2 (55.4 sq mi)
 - Water 7.5 km2 (2.9 sq mi)  4.98%
Elevation 20 m (68 ft)
Population (2000)
 - Total 18,560
 Density 129.4/km2 (335.1/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
Website www.ci.augusta.me.us
File:Augusta
State House in Augusta

Augusta is the capital city of the U.S. state of Maine. 18,560 people live in Augusta.


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