February 9, 2018

Augusta Downtown Alliance director boosts city in print

Photo / Arcadia Publishing
Photo / Arcadia Publishing
The cover of “Augusta: The Best Little City in New England. Seriously,” by Michael Hall, executive director of the city's Downtown Alliance. The book was published in late January.

Most readers are familiar with Arcadia Publishing's books — sepia-toned looks at local history, stuffed with historical photos.

But the publishing house, which includes The History Press, also does books with a little more color.

Michael Hall, executive director of the Augusta Downtown Alliance wanted to do something a little different. He wanted to make "the people living in the present the star" of his recently published book touting Augusta. The result is "Augusta: The Best Little City in New England. Seriously."

Part history book, part travel guide, the 96-page book, which has 136 photos, was released as part of Arcadia's local and regional history series America Through Time late last month.

The description on Arcadia's website, says it's "A guide to everything that makes Augusta so … Augusta."

"My goal for this book was to show Augusta as it really is by showcasing the people who live, work and play here," said Hall, a Florida native who became executive director of the Downtown Alliance in February 2016. "Most books in the America Through Time series that Arcadia produces focus on the history and development of the area. To me, Augusta is so much more than that."

The online description says that Augusta is "A capital city with a schizophrenic personality, this little town by the Kennebec sits in one of the most beautiful valleys in all of Maine ... there's no other place in the state that can quite match it.

"A small town with big city issues, and hearts bigger than the sturgeons that splash along its waterfront, it's a place both simultaneously confident and insecure. Self-aware enough to know its limitations, but clueless enough to fully realize its potential, it remains the last place in Maine that has yet to be claimed by hipster and tourist, alike."

Hall will be at the Barnes and Noble in Augusta from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, to sign copies, and on Friday, Feb. 23, at a time to be announced, at Circa 1885, one of the businesses that opened recently in downtown Augusta, at 228 Water St.


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