The city's population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-least populous state capital in the United States after Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota, and the ninth-most populous city in Maine. Located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide, Augusta is home to the University of Maine at Augusta. Augusta is also the principal city in the Augusta-Waterville Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Kennebec River flowing past Downtown Augusta
"A Capital Opportunity"
|Incorporated (town)||February 20, 1797|
|Incorporated (city)||August 20, 1849|
|• Mayor||David Rollins|
|• Total||58.03 sq mi (150.30 km2)|
|• Land||55.13 sq mi (142.79 km2)|
|• Water||2.90 sq mi (7.51 km2) 5.00%|
|Elevation||68 ft (20 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||330/sq mi (130/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0581636|
|Website||City of Augusta, Maine|
The area was first explored by the ill-fated Popham Colony in September 1607. It was first inhabited by English settlers from the Plymouth Colony in 1628 as a trading post on the Kennebec River. The settlement was known by its Indian name—Cushnoc (or Coussinoc or Koussinoc), meaning "head of the 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 unoccupied for the next 75 years. This area was inhabited by the Kennebec Indians, a band of the larger Abenaki tribe. During the 17th century, they were on friendly terms with the English settlers in the region.
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. During the height of the French and Indian War, a blockhouse named Fort Western (now the oldest wooden fort in America), was built at Cushnoc on the eastern bank of the Kennebec River in 1754. It was intended as a supply depot for Fort Halifax upriver, as well as to protect its own region from French attack. Later, during the American Revolutionary War Benedict Arnold and his 1,100 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 over rival cities Portland, Brunswick and Hallowell. 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 ranked as a city in 1849. After being named the state capital and the introduction of new industry, the city flourished. In 1840 and 1850, the city ranked among the 100 largest urban populations. The next decade, however, the city was quickly bypassed by rapidly growing metropolises in the Midwest.
Excellent soil provided for agriculture, and water power from streams provided for the industry. In 1837, a dam was built across the Kennebec where the falls drop 15 feet at the head of a tide. By 1838, 10 sawmills were contracted. With the arrival of the Kennebec & Portland Railroad in 1851, Augusta became an even more productive mill town. In 1883, the property of A. & W. Sprague Company was purchased by the Edwards Manufacturing Company, which erected extensive brick mills for manufacturing cotton textiles. In the late 19th century, a paper and pulp plant was constructed. Other Augusta firms produced lumber, sash, doors, window shutters, broom handles, stone cutters' tools, shoes, headstones, ice and furniture. The city developed as a publishing and shipping center. Today, government and post-secondary education are important businesses.
Since the mid-eighteenth century, there has been a military presence in Augusta. Fort Western has not had troops garrisoned there since the 1790s, but in 1828, the U.S. Government built an arsenal to protect their interests from Britain. During the Civil War, Augusta was a rendezvous point for soldiers traveling to the front. Many of the soldiers camped on the green in front of the capitol building. In 1862, Camp E.D. Keyes was established in the northwestern portion of the city. During World War I, Camp Keyes was used as a mobilization and training camp for soldiers. The camp eventually became a headquarters for the Maine National Guard. In 1929, the state legislature approved the placement of the Augusta State Airport next to the camp. As the airport grew, the use of the camp as a training facility was no longer possible. Today, it is still used for administrative and logistical purposes by the National Guard.
In the 19th century, Augusta got a regular steamboat service and the railroad. The city installed gas lights in 1859. A telephone service was available in 1880 and a local hospital in 1898. In the early 20th century, Augusta built two movie houses and a film production studio.
For much of Augusta's history, the central business district was on and near Water Street on the west bank of the Kennebec River. The street, laid out in the late 1700s, was the location of the area's commercial and industrial life. Many fires damaged this concentrated area, including one significant fire in 1865 that destroyed nearly 100 buildings. In 1890, the first trolley line began operation down Water Street, connecting Augusta with Gardiner and Hallowell to the south. In 1932, buses replaced the trolley line. With the completion of the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 95 in 1955, local commercial developments began to move away from Water Street and closer to the highway. Among the results was a storefront vacancy rate downtown of about 60 percent.
Since the late 2000s, there has been a renewed and ongoing focus by city officials, the Augusta Downtown Alliance, and private developers to revitalize the downtown area. Market rate housing, an emphasis on artwork and murals, outdoor concerts and movies, a popular waterfront, and new restaurant openings have contributed to nightlife for the downtown. The opening of Cushnoc Brewing Company, Augusta's first-ever brewpub in the former Stacy's Hallmark in 2017, along with their riverfront tasting room expansion, in 2018, added greatly to these efforts, greatly increasing pedestrian traffic to the area.
More changes are expected downtown with the future opening of the Colonial Theater, and the conversion of Water Street from one-way to two-way traffic.
Augusta is located at  making it the easternmost state capital in the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 58.03 square miles (150.30 km2), of which 55.13 square miles (142.79 km2) is land and 2.90 square miles (7.51 km2) is water. Augusta is drained by Bond's Brook, Woromontogus Stream and the Kennebec River.,
The city is crossed by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 201, State Route 11, U.S. Route 202, State Route 9, State Route 3, State Route 100, State Route 27, State Route 8, State Route 104, and State Route 105.
Augusta's climate is classified as a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb). Summers are typically warm, rainy, and humid, while winters are cold, windy, and snowy. Spring and fall are usually mild, but conditions are widely varied, depending on wind direction and jet stream positioning. The hottest month is July, with an average high temperature of 80 °F (26.7 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average low of 10 °F (−12.2 °C). Most snowfall occurs from December through March. There is usually little or no snow in April and November, and snow is rare in May and October.
|Climate data for Augusta, Maine (Augusta State Airport), 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||61
|Average high °F (°C)||27.6
|Daily mean °F (°C)||19.3
|Average low °F (°C)||11.0
|Record low °F (°C)||−33
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.61
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||20.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.3||9.1||11.0||11.8||13.5||12.9||11.8||10.2||10.2||11.4||11.8||11.4||135.4|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||8.6||7.2||6.3||2.0||0.1||0||0||0||0||0.3||2.7||6.8||33.7|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,136 people, 8,802 households, and 4,490 families residing in the city. The population density was 347.1 inhabitants per square mile (134.0/km2). There were 9,756 housing units at an average density of 177.0 per square mile (68.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.1% White, 1.1% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.
There were 8,802 households of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 49.0% were non-families. 39.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.76.
The median age in the city was 43.2 years. 18.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26% were from 25 to 44; 29.4% were from 45 to 64; and 18% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.
As of the census 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 per square mile (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.
Augusta is governed by a mayor and council-manager system. The City Council oversees all City government activities and establishes the legislative policies of the city, adopts and amends ordinances and local laws, appropriates municipal resources, and sets the tax rate. The City Manager serves as the chief executive officer and purchasing agent of the city. The mayor presides at all meetings of the council, and is recognized ceremonially as the official head of the city.
Augusta has historically been Democratic. In the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama received 5,192 of the votes to Mitt Romney's 3,339. The city has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since the Republican landslide of 1988. Democrats are the majority political affiliation in all four voting wards, and there are more unenrolled voters than Republicans in the City.
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of November 2012|
There are five public schools, one private school, one college (the University of Maine at Augusta), and two public libraries in Augusta. Farrington, Gilbert, Hussey, and Lincoln are the four public elementary schools that are spread throughout the city. Cony is the public school serving students in grades 7-12 from Augusta and the surrounding towns; Cony comprises Cony High School and Cony Middle School. St. Michaels is the private Catholic school that children from Augusta and surround towns may attend for tuition. The University of Maine at Augusta is third largest university in the University of Maine System. The Maine State Library and Lithgow Public Library are both located in Augusta.
Augusta is part of the Portland television market, and receives most of that market's channels. WCBB channel 10, licensed to Augusta, is the local television outlet for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. 
Burleigh Martin (September 3, 1888 - March 23, 1962) was an American politician from Maine. A Republican from Augusta, Maine, Martin served in the Maine Legislature from his election in 1922 until 1932. From 1923-1928, Martin served in the Maine House of Representatives. From 1927-1928, Martin was the House Speaker. Elected to the Maine Senate in 1928, Martin served until 1932. During his final term (1931-1932), Martin was elected Senate President.In 1932, Martin was the Republican nominee for Governor of Maine. He lost to Democrat Louis J. Brann. Brann was the first Democrat elected Governor of Maine since Oakley C. Curtis in 1914.Burton M. Cross
Burton Melvin Cross (November 15, 1902 – October 22, 1998) was a Maine Republican businessman and politician. Cross was Maine's 61st and 63rd GovernorFrank H. Foss
Frank Herbert Foss (b. Augusta, Maine, September 20, 1865 – d. Fitchburg, Massachusetts, February 15, 1947) was a United States Representative from Massachusetts.
He attended public schools in Augusta, Maine and graduated from Kent Hill (Maine) Seminary in 1886. He moved to Fitchburg in 1893.
Foss was a member of the Bricklayers, Masons, and Plasterers International Union of America Union, number 19, until 1895 when he took out an honorable withdrawal card and became a general contractor engaged in the construction of industrial plants.
He was a member of the Fitchburg city council (1906–1912); water commissioner (1913–1915); mayor of Fitchburg (1917–1920); member of the Republican State committee (1915–1946), and served as chairman (1921–1924).
He was a delegate to every Republican State Convention held between 1915 and 1946. He was elected as a Republican to the 69th Congress and the following four Congresses (March 4, 1925 - January 3, 1935). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1934 to the 74th Congress, and resumed management in the contracting business.
He resided in Fitchburg until his death there on February 15, 1947, aged 81; interment in Forest Hill Cemetery.John Fremont Hill
John Fremont Hill (October 29, 1855 in Eliot, Maine – March 16, 1912 in Eliot, Maine) was an American capitalist and politician. He served in a number of positions in Maine government, including as the 45th Governor of Maine from 1901 to 1905.
He graduated from the Medical School of Maine (Bowdoin College) in 1877 and studied at the Long Island College Hospital Medical School, but practiced medicine only a year. In 1879 he became a member of the law firm (later a publishing house) of J.F. Hill & Co. in Augusta, Maine. He was active in many railroad, steamship, telephone, and banking enterprises.
He was best known as a Republican politician, serving as a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 1888-92, of the Maine Senate from 1892 to 1896, and of the Executive Council in 1898-1899; and he was the 45th Governor of Maine from 1901 to 1905. He was acting chairman in 1908-1911, and chairman in 1911-1912, of the Republican National Committee.Joseph Campbell (politician)
Joseph B. Campbell was an American politician from Maine. Campbell served three non-consecutive terms in the Maine Legislature, including one (1948-1950) in the Maine House of Representatives and two (1962-1964 and 1966-1968) in the Maine Senate. During his final term in the Senate, Campbell served as President. He was a Republican representing the city of Augusta, Maine.Joshua Gage
Not to be confused with contemporary poet Joshua Gage
Joshua Gage (August 7, 1763 – January 24, 1831) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. Born in Harwich, Massachusetts, Gage completed preparatory studies. In 1795, he moved to Augusta, Maine (until 1820 a district of Massachusetts). He was a master mariner, and subsequently became engaged in mercantile pursuits. Gage was the Chairman of the Augusta, Massachusetts, Board of Selectmen, in 1803. He served as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and served in the Massachusetts State Senate. He also served as Treasurer of Kennebec County from 1810 to 1831.
Gage was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Fifteenth Congress (March 4, 1817 – March 3, 1819). After leaving the House Gage served as member of the Executive Council of Maine in Governor Parris' administration. Gage died in Augusta on January 24, 1831.Kennebec County, Maine
Kennebec County is a county in the U.S. state of Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 121,581. Its county seat is Augusta, the state capital. The county was established on February 20, 1799 from portions of Cumberland and Lincoln Counties. The name Kennebec comes from the Eastern Abenaki /kínipekʷ/, meaning "large body of still water, large bay."Kennebec County comprises the Augusta–Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area.
In 2010, the center of population of Maine was in Kennebec County, in the city of Augusta.Kennebec Journal
The Kennebec Journal is a seven-day morning daily newspaper published in Augusta, Maine. It is owned by MaineToday Media, which also publishes the state's largest newspaper, the Portland Press Herald.
The newspaper covers Augusta and the surrounding capital area and southern Kennebec County. Known colloquially as the "KJ".Maine State House
The Maine State House in Augusta, Maine is the state capitol of the State of Maine. The building was completed in 1832, one year after Augusta became the capital of Maine. Built using Maine granite, the State House was based on the design of the Massachusetts State House (Maine was formerly part of Massachusetts, and became a separate state in 1820).
Governor Janet Mills and the Maine Legislature convene at the State House.Maine State Museum
The Maine State Museum is the official Maine government's museum and is located at 230 State Street, adjacent to the Maine State House, in Augusta. It collections focus on the state's pre-history, history, and natural science.
Permanent exhibits include dioramas of Maine's animals, birds and plants in different ecosystems; gems and minerals; displays about the state's natural resources and industries, including forestry, granite, fishing, and agriculture; Clovis culture and archaeological artifacts; and settlement and state history. There is also a working three-story water-powered woodworking mill, and craftsmen's work areas.
The current director of the Museum is Bernard Fishman.Maine State Treasurer
The Maine State Treasurer is a constitutional officer of the State of Maine.
The office is authorized by Article V, Part Third of the Maine Constitution. The Treasurer is chosen by the Maine Legislature in joint session for a two-year term, and can serve no more than four consecutive terms. Responsibilities of the Treasurer's Office include providing financial services for all state agencies, issuing bonds and managing the State's debt, and holding unclaimed property and working to return it to its rightful owners. The Treasurer is also an ex officio member of several state boards and agencies.
Governor Paul LePage proposed in 2015 to change how the State Treasurer is chosen from being chosen by the Legislature to a gubernatorial appointment and confirmation by the Legislature.Memorial Bridge (Augusta, Maine)
The Memorial Bridge, also known as the Kennebec Memorial Bridge or the Kennebec River Bridge, is a bridge in Augusta, Maine, that crosses the Kennebec River, joining the east and west sides of the city. It carries U.S. Route 201, U.S. Route 202, Route 11, and Route 100. The bridge is approximately 2,100 feet (640 m) long and has two lanes for traffic and a barrier-protected sidewalk for pedestrians on each side of the roadway. It was built in 1949.Reuel Williams
Reuel Williams (June 2, 1783 – July 25, 1862) was a U.S. Senator from Maine.
Born in Hallowell, Maine to Seth Williams and Zilpha Ingraham, he attended Hallowell Academy, and went on to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1804, commencing practice in Augusta, Maine.
He was a member of the Maine Legislature from 1812 to 1829 and again in 1832 and 1848. He was commissioner of public buildings in 1831. He served as a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1836.
In 1837, he was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ether Shepley and served from March 4, 1837, to February 15, 1843, when he resigned.
While in the Senate he served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Naval Affairs.
He was also the manager of the Kennebec & Portland Railroad for 12 years. He died in Augusta, aged 79, and was interred in his family's cemetery on the banks of the Kennebec River in Augusta.
His son, Joseph H. Williams, also a politician, was elected Governor of Maine. Daughter, Jane E. Williams, married Unitarian minister and author Sylvester Judd on August 31, 1841; they had three children. Daughter Helen A. Williams married John Taylor Gilman originally of Exeter, NH. After his death, she was remarried to Charles H. Bell of Exeter, NH.Richard H. Vose
Richard Hampton Vose (November 8, 1803 – January 19, 1864) was an American politician and the 14th Governor of Maine for two days in 1841.University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is located in the state capital of Augusta, Maine, and is a part of the University of Maine System. UMA is a regional state university providing baccalaureate and select associate degrees for residents of Central Maine. The university has campuses in Augusta and Bangor, and courses offered online and across the state. UMA delivers programs to both recent high school graduates and returning adults.WJZN
WJZN (1400 AM; "Capital 95.9") is a radio station licensed to serve Augusta, Maine, United States. The station, established in 1932 as WRDO, is owned by Townsquare Media and broadcasts a classic rock format. WJZN's programming is also heard on W240DH (95.9 FM) in Augusta.WMME-FM
WMME-FM (92.3 FM), known as "92 Moose", is an FM radio station located in Augusta, Maine. The station airs a Top 40 format. Another popular show on the station is the "Moose Morning Show". The station is owned by Townsquare Media. On air personalities include Renee Nelson, Cooper Fox, Brittany Rose, Kayla Thomas and Matt James.WVQM
WVQM (101.3 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a News/Talk format and simulcasting co-owned WVOM-FM from Bangor, Maine. Licensed to Augusta, Maine, United States, the station serves the Augusta-Waterville area. The station is currently owned by Blueberry Broadcasting.William Moore (surveyor)
William Moore (1827–1897) was a city and county surveyor in Los Angeles County, California, United States, and a member of the Los Angeles Common Council, the city's governing body, in the 19th Century.