The History Behind The Statues Of Augusta
I've been a resident of Sidney, Maine my whole life and strangely enough I've never once noticed statues in Augusta. Whether I was determined to get where I was going or the rotary always seemed too complicated to not focus all of my effort on, I never noticed memorials and monuments directly next to it. Along with the monuments at the rotary, I was told there are a couple outside of the museum as well. I figured I should brush up on my history and take a visit to find out what these works of art were all about.
Outside of the Maine State Museum, I found a statue of a young girl. Samantha Reed Smith, pictured in the statue located at the Maine State Museum in Augusta, was known as 'America's Youngest Ambassador' and was actually from Manchester, Maine. Smith died in a plane crash at the young age of 13-years-old. Before, she became famous for writing a letter during the Cold War. The letter she wrote was asking Yuri Andropov, the Premier of the Soviet Union, if he intended to become peaceful with the United States in order to avoid war. From there she became known as a peace advocate and was even invited to visit the Soviet Union. In the statue below she is setting a peace dove free.
Alongside the Samantha Smith statue, outside of the Maine State Museum, is a statue of a man from the Civilian Conservation Corps. The statue reads:
"In honor of the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps who, from 1933 to 1942, changed the face of Maine by building parks, roads, trails, forests and citizenship, leaving a lasting legacy to the conservation of natural resources for which all citizens of Maine owe a debt of gratitude."
The C.C.C. was a public work relief program for unmarried, unemployed men in an attempt to relieve those families suffering most from the deprivation of the Great Depression. The program was extremely successful in not only providing work, but also establishing a foundation for using natural resources conservatively.
Outside of the Maine State Court House sits another statue. Literally. Pictured sitting in a chair with judges robes and a large mustache is Melville Weston Fuller. Fuller was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, appointed by President Cleveland, between the years of 1888 and 1910, according to the engraved writing below the seated statue. Fuller had attended Bowdoin College and continued on to study law at Harvard. According to Biography, Fuller had served on the Supreme Court at a time when extremely controversial cases took place, for example, Brown v. Board of Education and Plessy v. Ferguson. Born and raised in Maine, he sits outside the court house as a remembrance of everything he stood for in the world of law.
Another grouping of statues and memorials can be found just off of the rotary in Augusta. When I went to take photographs state workers were planting new flowers around the memorials. Somehow, during the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I had overlooked these statues. However, the state of Maine never once did.
The memorials and monuments are in remembrance and honor of those who died during the Vietnam War, Korean War, and World War II. One memorial states: "To the memory of our heroic dead who fought for the liberty of humanity." View all of the memorials and monuments in the gallery below.