contentsKennebec Valley ME Chamberads

Points of Interest

(Governor’s Mansion) The Blaine House, located on the corner of State and Capitol Streets, was built in the Federalist style in 1833. In 1872, the motif was changed to Victorian & Italian style, and in 1919, noted Maine architect, John Calvin Stevens, remodeled the mansion to a semi-Colonial structure. A gift to the state from Mrs. Harriet Blaine Beal, the house has been the official residence of Maine governors since 1919. The Blaine House is open to the public for tours Tuesday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: (207) 624-7500

This exciting Discovery Museum offers a “hands-on” opportunity for youngsters through grade five to have fun while learning in an interactive environment. A host of exciting exhibits, including a restaurant, grocery store and bank, theater and a rainforest/toddler play area. Kids can also learn about engineering, construction and transportation. The museum provides wonderful opportunities for creative family fun and is located at Shaw’s Plaza near Capitol Street. Phone: (207) 622-2209

This cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds in Augusta. Located on the old “Vassalboro Coach Road” (now Hospital Street), the cemetery contains several interesting slate headstones of the late 18th century and early 19th century. Many are carved in traditional manner incorporating the willow, angel and death signs as well as several interesting epitaphs.

260-year-old treasure! Old Fort Western was built in 1754 by the Proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase and is now designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is the Nation’s oldest surviving wooden fort. Located on Cony Street on the banks of the Kennebec River, the Fort complex includes the original main house (barrack and store) and reproduction blockhouses, watchboxes and palisade. The Fort portrays military, settlement, family, work and community themes. Guided tours offer visitors an opportunity to step back into the past. For information on admission and group discounts call (207) 626-2385.

The Michael Klahr Holocaust Education Resource Center, built with the help of the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine – and a generous donation by Michael Klahr who survived the holocaust as a child – houses artifacts and information from Maine people who survived or helped to liberate the concentration camps of World War II. In the center, attached to the University of Maine at Augusta’s Katz Library, researchers will find a rich archive of reference material. Klahr Center seminars and symposiums focus on the topics of diversity, medical ethics and the Holocaust.

The Kennebec County Court House, located at the intersection of State and Winthrop streets, was built in 1830. This granite building is a clear example of the Greek revival style of construction. From 1830 to 1969, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court held sessions in the Court House, and the room where they met still contains the original chairs and desks. A $50 million addition is under construction for completion in 2015. The Kennebec County Court House, is listed in the National Registry of historic buildings.

Experience Maine’s past by visiting the Maine State Museum, one of the finest state museums in the USA. The museum presents exhibits of Maine’s natural environment, social history and manufacturing heritage. The newest exhibit, “Maine Voices from the Civil War,” is on view through spring 2015. Located in the State Capitol Complex, the museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 to 5, Saturday 10 to 4 and is closed Sundays, Mondays and all state holidays. Phone: (207) 287-2301.

This sprawling hillside cemetery and nearby expanded pastoral cemetery are the final resting places for thousands of Maine citizens who served their country in time of war. On the outskirts of Augusta, the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemeteries are designed with walls of names and offer a somber reminder of those who have served our country.

The Maine Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located in Capitol Park, honors those who served in Vietnam and those whose lives were touched by the war. The Memorial is represented by three triangular structures. One can walk through this “statue in reverse” memorial, incorporating the viewer as an integral part of the design.

These special memorials, near the State House, give constant statewide tribute to law enforcement and EMT officials and fire fighters who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Prior to 1879, this park was known as the Augusta Mall and was the mustering point for the Kennebec Valley Civil War troops. Following that war, the westside rotary site was conveyed to the City of Augusta in trust for a Civil War monument. Since that time, war memorials have been added for World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the war in Iraq.


The Kennebec River Rail Trail offers miles of scenic river views for walkers and bikers. The trail stretches seven miles from Augusta through Hallowell and Farmingdale to Gardiner.

The University of Maine at Augusta maintains hiking and running trails for all levels and the Greenway in Augusta is a shorter pleasant river walk. The Viles Arboretum also offers beautiful wooded trails for nature lovers.

A world class Nordic ski trail system has been recently established on a large tract of city property near the Augusta State Airport.

The Governor Hill Mansion was originally designed by John Calvin Stevens for Governor John Fremont Hill. This building incorporates the use of Maine granite and St. Louis brick in its construction. It is the last remaining of the imposing estates of Augusta built during the late 1890s and early 1900s and recently has been converted to conference facilities. Phone: (207) 622-6235

The former Pine Tree State Arboretum, a 225-acre tract of land where trees, shrubs, and plants are cultivated for educational, recreational and scientific purposes was recently renamed Viles Arboretum in honor of Augusta philanthropist Elsie Viles. Recreational opportunities include bird watching, picnicking, hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The Arboretum, located at Hospital Street and Piggery Road, offers a fine view of the Kennebec Valley with a visitors’ center open to the public. Phone: (207) 626-7989

In 1982, Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old child from Manchester, Maine wrote to congratulate Yuri Andropov on his appointment as Soviet Premier. In her letter, Samantha confided her fears of nuclear war and the tense relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Later, Premier Andropov invited Samantha and her family to visit the Soviet Union, experience its culture and meet Soviet children. Tragically, Samantha’s voice was silenced in a 1985 plane crash, but her legacy remains a major step in the successful peace efforts between the two super powers. Statue is next to Maine State Museum.

At age 11, Vicki Van Meter, a Pennsylvanian, became an “adopted daughter” of Augusta when she piloted her plane solo from Augusta State Airport to San Diego, California, setting a record and becoming an international media star, NASA spokesperson and inspiration to youth. She also flew from Augusta in her cross-Atlantic record flight at age 12 in 1994. After her untimely death in 2008 Vicki’s family erected a statue at the airport to commemorate her love for Augusta and to help inspire others to “follow their dreams.”

Noted Boston architect Charles Bulfinch designed the original Maine Capitol, built in 1829 using granite quarried from nearby Hallowell. In 1910, another Boston architect, C. Henri Desmond, enlarged the building to double its original size. It is truly one of Maine’s architectural treasures and recently underwent a $50 million renovation. The dome rises 185 feet. The Capitol Building houses both Executive and Legislative branches. Tours are available weekdays only, year round and scheduled by calling the Maine State Museum. Phone: (207) 287-2301.

The Theater at Monmouth is a regional treasure that attracts Mainers and summer visitors from around the world to high-quality performances of Shakespeare and others. Since 1970, The Theater at Monmouth has presented professional productions of the world’s greatest plays in rotating repertory in the beautifully restored 100-year-old Cumston Hall.

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