Where is the capital of Maine?
When Maine separated from Massachusetts and became a state in 1820, a
number of cities and towns sought the honor of becoming the state capitol and site of the new State House.
The principal aspirants were Portland, Brunswick, Hallowell, Waterville, Belfast, Wiscasset and Augusta.
The Capital was first in Portland. The people in Maine thought the capital should be located in a more
central area so that those from the north would have better access. The Legislature finally selected the City
of Augusta, and Governor Enoch Lincoln signed the bill establishing Augusta as the official capitol on February 24,
The lot occupied by the State House and State grounds, containing thirty-four acres and extending from the old
Hallowell road to the Kennebec River, was chosen by the Governor and the Commissions after careful consideration of
various sites on both sides of the river. The building was designed by the renowned architect, Charles
Bulfinch of Boston, and, in its original form, resembled another work of his, the Massachusetts State House.
About one hundred and fifty feet in length, including the central portion with columns and cupola and two wings
extending north and south, the buildings cornerstone was laid on the 4th of July, 1829, amid impressive Masonic
ceremonies. Construction was of granite from Hallowell quarries and took three years to complete.
The Maine Legislature held its first session in the new State Capitol on January 4, 1832.