Chelsea, in the south-eastern part of Kennebec County,
lies on the eastern bank of the Kennebec River, by which it is separated from Hallowell and Farmingdale. Augusta
bounds it on the north, Pittston on the south, and Whitefield, in Lincoln County, on the east. Prior to its incorporation
in 1850 it was a part of Hallowell, and its early history is comprised in that of the latter town and of Augusta.
Chelsea is hilly, but without lofty elevations; the highest are Ledge Hill and Winter Hill, each about 100 feet
in height. The rock is granitic, and the soil clay and sandy loam. There are several fine farms in town, and the
chief occupation is agriculture. The principal stream is Worromontogus, or “Togus,” which runs southward through
the eastern part and falls into the Kennebec.
There is a saw and grist mill on this stream, toward the southern part of the town. In the northern part is one
of the United States military asylums. The mineral spring at this place formerly. had some notoriety, and Mr. Beal,
of Boston, erected a large hotel near it. The enterprise did not prove profitable, and the property was sold to
the United States; the territory also being ceded to the Government for the purposes of a Home for the disabled
soldiers of the war of the Rebellion. A fire destroyed the old buildings, which were of wood, and substantial brick
buildings were soon after erected, of size suflicient to accommodate 1,000 men. Belonging to this institution are
a brickyard, saw-mill and shoe-shop, which are operated by the inmates of the “Home.”
Aside from Togus, the principal settlement is near the bridge connecting the town with Hallowell. Along the river
are a few ice-houses, and near the southern line is one of the large houses owned by the Knickerbocker Ice Company.
The Maine Central Railroad, on the opposite side of the river, is accessible by bridge or boat.
Chelsea sent 98 soldiers into the war, of which number 28 were lost. There is an Adventist and a Methodist society
in town. Chelsea has nine public schoolhouses, valued at $2,525. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $184,980.
The rate of taxation in 1880 was 19 mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 1,238. In 1880 it was 1,538.