AUGUSTA, Maine — Why is Augusta Maine’s capital city? It"s not one of the larger cities or towns. In fact, lot of the state may recognize Augusta primarily for the state capital and the public Center, where it holds concerts and basketball tournaments.
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But the story of how it was chosen for the capitol is one the tells a lot about how the young state developed.
Maine officially became a state on march 15, 1820, the statehood plot passed by Congress and also signed by president James Monroe. But after Washington had acted and also statehood to be a fact, Maine necessary a state capital.
At first, it was in Portland, in a reasonably small building near the present site the Portland City Hall.
“The biggest city at the moment would it is in the very first capital,” said historian Herb Adams the Portland, “but they likewise knew that couldn’t stay the capital."
Adams and Maine State historian Earle Shettleworth said those outsides that Portland assumed the new government needed a more central location.
Shettleworth likewise said some world worried Portland can be assaulted by sea, since that had happened in the past, and could quickly have taken place a couple of years earlier when brother ships were just outside the harbor during the war of 1812.
“And we had actually just obtained over the battle of 1812 and also it was believed ‘not a great idea to have your funding so vulnerable"," said the historian.
So in 1822, the Legislature assignment a committee to find for brand-new locations for the capital.They received requests indigenous Augusta, Hallowell, Wiscasset, Belfast, and also Portland, said Earle Shettleworth, concentrating on a place centrally situated for the population at that time.
“The ideal offer to be Augusta, which stated we will give you Weston’s Hill, where the statehouse is now, and also we will offer you the beautiful land indigenous Weston Hill under to the river for a state park,” Shettleworth said.
He stated Augusta was even willing to aid pay for the building. Despite those seeming benefits, it take it five much more years for the Legislature to agree on the deal. They finally did, the new State house was built and in 1832 the resources moved indigenous Portland.
“Portland was no happy to have actually the large apple taken far from them,” claimed Adams. "Portland made many efforts to gain it back."
“Literally every legislative session from then to 1907 there was a invoice to return the funding to Portland.”
Finally, after ~ 80 year of those arguments, Maine voter passed one amendment to the structure to declare Augusta the long-term capital.
Two hundred years after statehood began, Maine is bigger, the State residence larger. Augusta no much longer really in the center. But still the facility of the decisions the will shape Maine’s future.
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