AUGUSTA, Maine — Why is Augusta Maine’s resources city? It"s not one of the bigger cities or towns. In fact, lot of the state may understand Augusta primarily for the state capital and also the public Center, where it stop concerts and basketball tournaments.

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But the story of exactly how it was favored for the capitol is one that tells a lot around how the young state developed.

Maine officially came to be a state on march 15, 1820, the statehood action passed by Congress and signed by chairman James Monroe. Yet after Washington had actually acted and also statehood to be a fact, Maine required a state capital.

At first, it was in Portland, in a relatively small building near the current site that Portland City Hall.

“The biggest city at the time would be the very first capital,” said chronicler Herb Adams the Portland, “but they additionally knew it couldn’t continue to be the capital."

Adams and Maine State historian Earle Shettleworth stated those outsides of Portland thought the brand-new government necessary a more central location.

Shettleworth also said some civilization worried Portland might be attacked by sea, because that had happened in the past, and also could quickly have happened a few years earlier when british ships were just outside the harbor throughout the battle of 1812.

“And we had actually just acquired over the battle of 1812 and also it was assumed ‘not a good idea to have your capital so vulnerable"," said the historian.

So in 1822, the Legislature order a committee to find for brand-new locations for the capital.They received requests indigenous Augusta, Hallowell, Wiscasset, Belfast, and also Portland, stated Earle Shettleworth, concentrating on a place centrally situated for the populace at the time.

“The best offer to be Augusta, which stated we will give you Weston’s Hill, whereby the statehouse is now, and also we will give you the beautiful land indigenous Weston Hill down to the flow for a state park,” Shettleworth said.

He stated Augusta was even willing to help pay because that the building. Despite those seeming benefits, it take it five an ext years for the Legislature come agree top top the deal. They finally did, the new State residence was built and also in 1832 the funding moved from Portland.

“Portland was no happy to have actually the large apple taken away from them,” stated Adams. "Portland made many efforts to get it back."

“Literally every legislative session from climate to 1907 there was a bill to return the capital to Portland.”

Finally, after 80 year of those arguments, Maine voters passed an amendment come the structure to explain Augusta the permanent capital.

Two century after statehood began, Maine is bigger, the State house larger. Augusta no longer really in the center. Yet still the facility of the decisions the will shape Maine’s future.


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