Augusta, Maine

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Augusta, Maine
Augusta, Maine 2.jpg
Kennebec River flowing past Downtown Augusta
AugustaMeflag.png
Flag
AugustaMEseal.png
Seal
Nickname(s): 
Artgusta
Motto(s): 
"A Capital Opportunity" [1]
Kennebec County Maine incorporated and unincorporated areas Augusta highlighted.svg
Location in Kennebec County and the state of Maine
Coordinates: 44°18′38″N69°46′48″W / 44.31056°N 69.78000°W / 44.31056; -69.78000
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
StateFlag of Maine.svg  Maine
County Kennebec
Settled1754
Incorporated (town)February 20, 1797
Incorporated (city)August 20, 1849
VillageNorth Augusta
Government
  MayorDavid Rollins [2]
Area
[3]
  Total58.03 sq mi (150.30 km2)
  Land55.13 sq mi (142.79 km2)
  Water2.90 sq mi (7.51 km2)  5.00%
Elevation
68 ft (20 m)
Population
 (2010)
  Total19,136
  Estimate 
(2017) [4]
18,594
  Density330/sq mi (130/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-02100
GNIS feature ID0581636
Website City of Augusta, Maine

Augusta is the state capital of the U.S. state of Maine and the county seat of Kennebec County. [5]

Maine State of the United States of America

Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, and the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes. It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways, as well as its seafood cuisine, especially lobster and clams. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland. The capital is Augusta.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

Kennebec County, Maine County in the United States

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."

Contents

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 .

2010 United States Census 23rd national census of the United States, taken in 2010

The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010. The census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired. The population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Montpelier, Vermont Capital of Vermont, United States

Montpelier is the capital city of the U.S. state of Vermont and the seat of Washington County. As the site of Vermont's state government, it is the least populous state capital in the United States. The population was 7,855 at the 2010 Census. However, the daytime population grows to about 21,000, due to the large number of jobs within city limits. The Vermont College of Fine Arts and New England Culinary Institute are located in the municipality. It was named after Montpellier, a city in the south of France.

History

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. [6] 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. [7] [8]

Popham Colony

The Popham Colony—also known as the Sagadahoc Colony—was a short-lived English colonial settlement in North America that was founded in 1607 and located in the present-day town of Phippsburg, Maine, near the mouth of the Kennebec River by the proprietary Virginia Company of Plymouth. It was founded a few months after its more successful rival, the colony at Jamestown, which was established on May 4, 1607, by the Virginia Company of London in present-day James City County, Virginia.

Plymouth Colony English colonial venture in North America (1620-1691)

Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 to 1691 at a location that had previously been surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement served as the capital of the colony and developed as the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. At its height, Plymouth Colony occupied most of the southeastern portion of Massachusetts.

Kennebec River river in Maine, United States

The Kennebec River is a 170-mile-long (270 km) river within the U.S. state of Maine.

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. [9] 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.

The Abenaki are a Native American tribe and First Nation. They are one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America. The Abenaki live in Quebec and the Maritimes of Canada and in the New England region of the United States, a region called Wabanahkik in the Eastern Algonquian languages. The Abenaki are one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy.

Norridgewock archaeological site

Norridgewock was the name of both an Indian village and a band of the Abenaki Native Americans/First Nations, an Eastern Algonquian tribe of the United States and Canada. The French of New France called the village Kennebec. The tribe occupied an area in the interior of Maine. During colonial times, this area was territory disputed between British and French colonists, and was set along the claimed western border of Acadia, the western bank of the Kennebec River.

Richmond, Maine Town in Maine, United States

Richmond is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,411 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

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. [9] 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. [10] 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. [11]

Hallowell, Maine City in Maine, United States

Hallowell is a city in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,381 at the 2010 census. Popular with tourists, Hallowell is noted for its culture and old architecture. Hallowell is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.

Massachusetts General Court legislature of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when the colonial assembly, in addition to making laws, sat as a judicial court of appeals. Before the adoption of the state constitution in 1780, it was called the Great and General Court, but the official title was shortened by John Adams, author of the state constitution. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has 160 members. It meets in the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston.

Henry Dearborn American politician

Henry Dearborn was an American soldier and statesman. In the Revolutionary War, he served under Benedict Arnold in the expedition to Quebec, of which his journal provides an important record. After being captured and exchanged, he served in George Washington's Continental Army, and was present at the British surrender at Yorktown. Dearborn served on General Washington's staff in Virginia. He was US Secretary of War, serving under President Thomas Jefferson from 1801 to 1809, and served as a commanding general in the War of 1812. In later life his criticism of General Israel Putnam's performance at the Battle of Bunker Hill caused a major controversy. Fort Dearborn in Illinois and the city of Dearborn, Michigan, were named in his honor.

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. [12] 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. [13]

Waterfall Place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a river

A waterfall is an area where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf.

Sawmill facility where logs are cut into timber

A sawmill or lumber mill is a facility where logs are cut into lumber. Modern saw mills use a motorized saw to cut logs lengthwise to make long pieces, and crosswise to length depending on standard or custom sizes. The "portable" saw mill is iconic and of simple operation—the logs lay flat on a steel bed and the motorized saw cuts the log horizontally along the length of the bed, by the operator manually pushing the saw. The most basic kind of saw mill consists of a chainsaw and a customized jig, with similar horizontal operation.

A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories, usually cotton mills or factories producing textiles.

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.

Downtown Revitalization

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. [14]

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.

Geography

Augusta is located at 44°18′26″N69°46′54″W / 44.30722°N 69.78167°W / 44.30722; -69.78167 , [15] 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. [3] Augusta is drained by Bond's Brook, Woromontogus Stream and the Kennebec River.

Roads

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.

Bordering

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.

Climate

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. [16]

Climate data for Augusta, Maine (Augusta State Airport), 1981–2010 normals
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)61
(16)
60
(16)
84
(29)
90
(32)
94
(34)
98
(37)
99
(37)
100
(38)
96
(36)
85
(29)
74
(23)
67
(19)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C)27.6
(−2.4)
31.8
(−0.1)
40.4
(4.7)
53.1
(11.7)
65.2
(18.4)
73.8
(23.2)
79.2
(26.2)
78.0
(25.6)
69.6
(20.9)
57.2
(14.0)
45.2
(7.3)
33.5
(0.8)
54.6
(12.6)
Daily mean °F (°C)19.3
(−7.1)
23.2
(−4.9)
31.9
(−0.1)
43.9
(6.6)
54.9
(12.7)
64.0
(17.8)
69.5
(20.8)
68.3
(20.2)
60.0
(15.6)
48.4
(9.1)
37.9
(3.3)
26.1
(−3.3)
45.6
(7.6)
Average low °F (°C)11.0
(−11.7)
14.5
(−9.7)
23.4
(−4.8)
34.6
(1.4)
44.6
(7.0)
54.2
(12.3)
59.9
(15.5)
58.5
(14.7)
50.5
(10.3)
39.6
(4.2)
30.6
(−0.8)
18.6
(−7.4)
36.7
(2.6)
Record low °F (°C)−33
(−36)
−23
(−31)
−11
(−24)
9
(−13)
26
(−3)
36
(2)
43
(6)
39
(4)
28
(−2)
21
(−6)
4
(−16)
−15
(−26)
−33
(−36)
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.61
(66)
2.43
(62)
3.36
(85)
3.78
(96)
3.69
(94)
3.55
(90)
3.41
(87)
3.31
(84)
3.74
(95)
4.36
(111)
4.35
(110)
3.24
(82)
41.83
(1,062)
Average snowfall inches (cm)20.0
(51)
14.9
(38)
15.6
(40)
4.7
(12)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
.3
(0.76)
3.5
(8.9)
14.5
(37)
73.5
(187.66)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)10.39.111.011.813.512.911.810.210.211.411.811.4135.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)8.67.26.32.00.100000.32.76.833.7
Source: NOAA [17]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1800 1,211
1810 1,80549.1%
1820 2,45736.1%
1830 3,98062.0%
1840 5,31433.5%
1850 8,22554.8%
1860 7,609−7.5%
1870 7,8082.6%
1880 8,66511.0%
1890 10,52721.5%
1900 11,68311.0%
1910 13,21113.1%
1920 14,1146.8%
1930 17,19821.9%
1940 19,36012.6%
1950 20,9138.0%
1960 21,6803.7%
1970 21,9451.2%
1980 21,819−0.6%
1990 21,325−2.3%
2000 18,560−13.0%
2010 19,1363.1%
Est. 201718,594 [4] −2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [18]

2010 census

As of the census [19] 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.

2000 census

As of the census [20] 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.

Government

Local government

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.

The city maintains a police department remarkable for having not had an officer killed in the line of duty for over a century. [21]

Political makeup

Augusta has historically been Democratic. In the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama received 5,192 of the votes to Mitt Romney's 3,339. [22] 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
Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of November 2012 [23]
PartyTotal VotersPercentage
Democratic 4,78034.82%
Unenrolled4,77834.80%
Republican 3,65626.63%
Green Independent 5123.70%
Total13,726100%

Education

There are five public schools, one private school, one college (the University of Maine at Augusta), [24] and two public libraries in Augusta. Farrington, Gilbert, Hussey, and Lincoln are the four public elementary schools that are spread throughout[ vague ] the city. [25] 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. [26] St. Michaels is the private Catholic school that children from Augusta and surround towns may attend for tuition. [27] The University of Maine at Augusta is third largest university in the University of Maine System. [28] The Maine State Library [29] and Lithgow Public Library [30] are both located in Augusta.

Media

Printed media

Radio

Television

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. [31]

Sites of interest

Notable people

A View of Old Fort Western. Old Fort Western.jpg
A View of Old Fort Western.

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Farmington is a census-designated place (CDP) comprising the center of the town of Farmington, which is the county seat of Franklin County in Maine, United States. The population of the CDP was 4,288 at the 2010 census, out of 7,760 people in the town as a whole. The University of Maine at Farmington is located within the CDP.

Farmingdale (CDP), Maine Census-designated place in Maine, United States

Farmingdale is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Farmingdale in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,970 at the 2010 census, out of 2,956 in the entire town.

Farmingdale, Maine Town in Maine, United States

Farmingdale is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,956 at the 2010 census. Farmingdale is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.

Oakland (CDP), Maine Census-designated place in Maine, United States

Oakland is a census-designated place (CDP) comprising the main population center in the town of Oakland in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,602 at the 2010 census, out of 6,240 in the entire town of Oakland.

Winthrop (CDP), Maine Census-designated place in Maine, United States

Winthrop is a census-designated place (CDP) comprising the primary settlement in the town of Winthrop in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,650 at the 2010 census, out of 6,092 in the town of Winthrop as a whole.

Norridgewock, Maine Town in Maine, United States

Norridgewock is a town in Somerset County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,367 at the 2010 census.

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Coordinates: 44°18′25″N69°46′55″W / 44.307°N 69.782°W / 44.307; -69.782