According to the Museum on the Streets plaque, “Market Square was an early civic and commercial center for the community. Bordering the Square were Pollard’s Tavern and the first Meeting House, built in 1782. In 1816, hard times prompted “Ohio Fever” and the square was a rallying point for emigrants heading west. Covered wagons lingered for days as their owners readied for the journey by buying supplies and exchanging money. In 1906, the Baker family of Augusta gave the water fountain in honor of Orville Dewey Baker, noted attorney and orator. Baker served two terms as Maine’s Attorney General. The advent of the automobile on Water Street in the early 20th century necessitated that Market Square be turned from a civic space to a thoroughfare for traffic, as it remains today.“
Today, there is work happening at Market Square that will bring back the original purpose of civic space. The redesign and reconstruction of Market Square will also boost Augusta’s image and increase opportunities for outside activity in our downtown.
Read more about the project as described in a Kennebec Journal article.