Look Up, Augusta! A Walking Tour of Augusta, Maine
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2013 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
The head of navigation on the Kennebec River has attracted the interest of human beings for thousands of years. European settlers were known to have explored here as early as 1607 and a trading post was operating by 1628. The first permanent settlement did not occur, however, until 1754 when a supply base known as Fort Western (named for an English friend of the colonial governor) was established by James Howard in the employ of a Boston land company called the Kennebec Proprietors.
Development took place on the slopes of both banks of the Kennebec River; to the east the section that included Fort Western was called Hallowell and a second settlement was known as the Hook and then Harrington. The two villages jostled a bit for pride but came together after a bridge was built near Winthrop Street in 1797. The origins of the name Augusta are a bit murky but the best guesses trace it to a woman named Pamela Augusta Dearborn who was the daughter of a Maine veteran of the American Revolution and a representative to the Continental Congress from the Kennebec District, General Henry Dearborn.