Capital of Maine, and administrative headquarters of Kennebec County, southwest Maine; population (2000 est) 18,600. It is located on the Kennebec River, 40 km/25 mi northeast of Lewiston and 80 km/50 mi northeast of Portland. It is a trade centre for surrounding farms and resorts, and has some light industry including the manufacture of computer equipment and paper products. Tourism is also important to the local economy. The town was incorporated as Harrington in February 1797. It was renamed Augusta in June 1797 and incorporated as a city in 1849.
History The area was first explored by the English in 1607. Augusta was then founded as a trading post in 1628 by settlers from Plymouth on an Abnaki site called Cushnoc. The first permanent settlement, Fort Western, was established in 1754. Augusta was the county town from 1799 and state capital from 1827. Industrialization followed the damming of the Kennebec River in 1837.
Features Features include Fort Western, the oldest surviving wooden fort in the USA, from which Benedict Arnold set out to capture Québec in 1775. It is now a historical monument and museum, and is one of 40 entries for Augusta on the national register of historic places. The capitol (1829), also on the national register, was designed by Charles Bulfinch. The University of Maine (1862) established a campus at Augusta in 1965.