The area was explored in 1607 by English settlers from the Popham Colony at the mouth of the Kennebec River. Before European settlement, Algonquian-speaking Indians lived in the area. In 1625, representatives of Plymouth Colony chose the east shore of the Kennebec for a trading post, which was likely built in 1628 and became known as "Cushnoc". The Kennebec Proprietors, successors to the Plymouth Company, built Fort Western near the site of the abandoned trading post in 1754 and began settlement efforts. The new village was incorporated as Hallowell in 1771, and the upriver part of town separated in 1797 to form the town of Harrington. On June 9, 1797, Harrington changed its name to Augusta and, in 1827, it was designated capital of Maine.
Augusta is the easternmost state capital in the United States. Located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide (the farthest point upstream where a river is affected by tidal fluctuations), it is the principal city in the Augusta-Waterville micropolitan statistical area and home to the University of Maine at Augusta. Downtown Augusta is vulnerable to floods in spring. The Maine flood of 1987, known as the "Great Flood", affected the city. Bond Brook runs from northwest to southeast through the city center, and has been called the "Home of wild Atlantic Salmon".
Augusta State Airport serves the city, offering both commercial service and general aviation. Although the airport is owned by the State of Maine, it is managed and operated by the city.
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