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The New International Encyclopædia/Augusta (Maine)

AUGUSTA. The capital of Maine, and the county-seat of Kennebec County. It is situated mainly on the west bank of the Kennebec River, 45 miles from its mouth, 74 miles southwest of Bangor, and 170 miles from Boston (Map: Maine, D 7). Augusta is on the Maine Central Railroad, and has connection by steamer with Portland, Boston, and other important cities. It has excellent water-power, the Kennebec Dam, 17 feet high and nearly 600 feet long, being but a half-mile above the city. The most extensive products are lumber, cotton goods, pulp, and paper. Augusta is built on ground rising considerably above the river-level, and contains several imposing buildings—the State House, built of granite, and affording a beautiful view from its dome: the City Hall, Post-office, State Insane Asylum, and United States Arsenal. The city has also a soldiers' monument and two libraries—the Lithgow Library (public), of 8000 volumes, and the State Library, of 60,000 volumes, located in the Capitol. The administration is vested in a mayor and a bicameral city council, with the usual subordinate officials. Population, in 1880, 8665; in 1890, 10,527; in 1900, 11,683. Though trading stations had been established here very early, the permanent settlement dates from 1754, when the Plymouth Company built here a fort, called Fort Western. Settlers began to come in 1762, and the place was known as Cushnoc (from the Indian village formerly situated there) until 1771, when it was incorporated as Hallowell. Out of part of Hallowell a new town was created in 1797 and called at first Harrington, and then, several months later, Augusta. It became the capital of the State in 1831, and was incorporated as a city in 1849. Consult North, History of Augusta (Augusta, 1870).