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The Oldest Wooden Fort

Members of the ill-fated Popham Colony first explored the area in 1607. The first inhabitants were English settlers from the Plymouth Colony who made it a trading post on the Kennebec River in 1629. At that time the settlement had an Indian name – Cushnoc which means “head of tide”. Due to Indian uprisings and bad revenues, the Plymouth Colony stopped trading and Cushnoc stayed empty for the next 75 years.

In 1754, a blockhouse named Fort Western was built at Cushnoc on the eastern bank of the Kennebec and now it is the oldest wooden fort in the U.S. The city was incorporated as part of Hallowell in 1771. Later on, the name was changed to Augusta in honor of Augusta Dearborn the daughter of Henry Dearborn who was an American soldier and statesman.

Maine became a state in 1820 and Augusta the capital in 1827. A dam was built across the Kennebec and soon there were ten sawmills. In 1851 arrived the Kennebec & Portland Railroad and the city became a mill town. Today Augusta has much to offer tourists who want to take a look back into its history including a tour of Fort Western.

 

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