This delightful town, the Capital of the state and chief town of the county of Kennebec, is in N. Lat. 44°18'43" and W. Lon. 6°50'. It lies 146 miles N.E. from Concord, N.H.; 182 E.N.E. from Montpelier, Vt.; 163 N.N.E. from Boston, Mass.; 203 N.N.E. from Providence, R.I.; 260 N.E. from Hartford, Ct.; and 595 miles N.E. from Washington. Augusta is situated at the head of sloop navigation on Kennebec river, 43 miles from the sea. The town lies on both sides of the Kennebec, and contains an area of 8 by 6 miles. It was first settled in 1771, and incorporated in 1797. In 1836 it contained 6,300 inhabitants. Its Indian name was Cushnoe. There was, in its early settlement, a fort, and four block houses built of timber, to afford protection to the inhabitants from the Indians, who were then very troublesome. The fort was called Fort Western, and is still standing on the east bank of the river, and is now occupied as a dwelling house. This is already a very flourishing town, not only in its agricultural pursuits, but in its commerce and manufactures. The tonnage of the place is about 3000 tons. Its exports are lumber of all kinds, oats, peas, beans, hay, potatoes, wool, cider, apples, &c.—When the extent and resources of the noble Kennebec and its tributaries, above tide water, are considered, some idea may be formed of the vast quantity of lumber that must pass this place on its passage to market.
The Kennebec bridge, uniting the east and west parts of the town is a fine structure. It was built in 1799; is 520 feet in length, and cost $28,000. The town rises by an easy ascent on both sides of the river to a level surface; it is well laid out, neatly built, and contains many handsome dwelling houses. Many of the streets are decorated by trees, planted on each side;—a striking evidence of the good taste of the inhabitants.
See also in Augusta:
- The State House
- The Unites States' Arsenal Buildings
- The State Insane Hospital
- The Augusta High School
The above is a brief sketch of the prominent features of this beautiful and flourishing town;—such as it has become by the common efforts of intelligent and enterprising people, joined to the natural advantages of the place.
But a new era is opened to Augusta. The mighty waters of the Kennebec have been arrested in their course. That proud stream, which, for ages, has rolled its rapid current to the ocean, unimpeded by the devices of man, is destined for ages to come, to pay perpetual homage to Yankee perseverance and skill, and to lend its gigantic strength to aid the arts and sciences in supplying the wants of millions.
We may perhaps, be suspected of partiality towards this lovely Village of the East, for giving it so extended a notice;—but, as accounts of works of great public utility are interesting to most of our readers, both duty and inclination prompt us to give a brief description of the Kennebec Dam;—a magnificent structure;—bold in its design—curious in its workmanship,—and probably unrivaled by any work of similar character and for similar purposes, in this or any other country.