July 29, 2022

We scheduled four days in Maine because we had enjoyed it in 2016 on our way to the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Unfortunately, we accidentally reserved both Orchard Beach, Maine and Montpelier, Vermont for the same days. Because we had reservations after Montpelier, we dismissed the idea of adjusting the itinerary and decided instead of accomplish two Maine objectives in one 300-plus mile day trip from our Boston area campground. We visited the Maine State House in Augusta and found Maine’s oldest geocache near Portland. Whew!

The Maine State House was built using Maine granite based on a design of the capitol building from Massachusetts. [Maine and Massachusetts were one state until 1820]

The first legislative session in the State House was held in January 1832.
The original building was designed by Charles Bulfinch of Boston who also designed the capitol building for Massachusetts and modeled Maine’s state house on that one.
Cost of the Maine State House was $139,000.
The building was remodeled in 1909-10. At that time the original cupola was replaced with a 185-feet tall dome.
The Visitor’s Center inside Maine’s State House includes a collection of butterflies.
The Maine Moth (Cecropia or Robin Moth) is one of the largest moths in the U.S.
Replicas of flags used by Maine military regiments from the Civil War through the Korean Conflict are on display in the Hall of Flags.
Rotunda ceiling
The front veranda
View from the front veranda
Grand Staircase
From the Grand Staircase to the second floor
House of Representatives chamber
The House has 151 representatives including representation of Native Americans: The Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Houlton Band of the Maliseet Indians. [The carpet was being replaced ar the time we were there.]
Senate chamber
Maine has 35 senators
Dave talked with the Sargent at Arms for the Senate.
Senate chamber from the podium
Dave called the Senate to order but only the Sargent at Arms was there to hear.
This fireplace once heated this portion of the building.
This frieze represents the return of volunteers from the Civil War and was designed by General Montgomery C. Meigs. The original frieze is on the Pension Building in Washington, D.C.
Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to serve in both houses of the U.S. Congress and the first woman from Maine to serve in either.
Mosaic floor
Hallway
Seal of the State of Maine
Categories: Travel

3 Comments

Jay Waters · September 17, 2022 at 2:59 pm

Looking up at the rotunda and the circular staircase made me dizzy! What is the statue on top of the dome, outside? You guys be careful.

    Jane Appel · September 18, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    When sculptor William Clark Noble learned there was no appropriation for a sculpture on top of the dome, he designed Lady of Wisdom, fabricated it, and donated it to the state of Maine. The lady represents the city of Augusta taking care of the pine branch which represents the state. The work is gilded copper and is 12 feet high with a three-foot torch.

Laura · September 17, 2022 at 3:06 pm

Pretty straightforward simple lines. Like typical New Englanders.

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