Introducing Augusta & Around
Although not the smallest state capital in America (an honor reserved for Montpelier, Vermont), Augusta sure feels like it. Overlooking a peaceful stretch of the Kennebec River, boaters still cast for dinner while the glittering dome of the State House looms just over the treeline. While there isn’t much reason to venture here, there are several fine historic sites (a good history museum, an old wooden fort) and some antique shops and cafés in the more charming nearby town of Hallowell. Also in the area is Gardiner, another sleepy town with a few galleries and a good restaurant.
Augusta was founded as a trading post in 1628, later abandoned, then resettled in 1724 at Fort Western (later Hallowell). Lumber, shingles, furs and fish were its early world exports, sent downriver in sloops built right here. Augusta became Maine’s capital in 1827, but was only chartered as a city in 1849.