how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Augusta Maine State Capitol Building + Maine State Museum

We head over to the Maine State Museum. It is immediately clear we have stumbled upon a real treasure. I cringe when I think how close I came to skipping this place.

This museum is astonishing. We have experienced some remarkable museums in the four thousand miles since we left Florida, but even the curators and designers in Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. could learn something with a visit here.

The skill, beauty, knowledge, focus, layout, and value of Augusta’s Maine State Museum is absolutely top notch. The displays are gigantic but each detail is carefully explained and showcased. Most people will barely make it through in four to five hours if they pay any attention at all. It’s just that big and full of goodies.

maine state museum shoe cobbler reenactment display room

They cover in great detail Maine’s historical and present day involvement in shipbuilding, quarrying, ice harvesting, sail making, wildlife, gems, lumbering, railroads, family life, the revolutionary war, the civil war, fishing, agriculture, carding, spinning, weaving, water wheel milling, canoe construction, shells, furnace made machinery, fossils and much more.

They relocated a real, three story high, active, working mill here from it’s place on the river. They house some of the tiniest gravure I have ever seen. As a further bonus the state library and state archives flank the museum, so you can easily visit those on another day if you are in the area.

flora and fauna display augusta museum

  augusta maine state museum sardine canning picture

augusta state building maine picture

Above: Picture of the Maine State House during reconstruction of the capitol dome. The dome is also getting a shiny new copper sheath.

augusta maine state building chamber house picture

augusta maine state capital room with Vanabode author Jason Odom on east coast road trip

Above: Pictures taken during our Capitol Building tour of the Chamber House.

august maine state museum looms

Above: Picture of a weave factory setting that turned cotton thread turned into textiles. Factor in the admission price of only two dollars, the free parking, the ease of exposure, the access to the affordable nearby café, and the sheer grandeur, and I am not sure this place has an equal. I have not been this impressed with a museum since leaving the Beaufort Maritime Museum months ago. If you are within a day’s drive of Augusta come for long weekend. Make it a date with someone special and you’ll earn serious points.

ancient canoes in maine

This is part of an 18 week, 7,532 mile, Vanabode road trip detailed in the book from Amazon
titled Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day for just $2.99
See East Coast Road Trip for more pictures, itinerary, maps and trip overview.

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