Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map For Chelsea

Location Map For Chelsea

Year Population
1970 2,095
1980 2,522
1990 2,497
2000 2,559
2010 2,721
Chelsea Population Chart 1860-2010

Population Trend 1860-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:15:41
W. Latitude 69:43:10
Maine House District 88
Maine Senate District 14
Congress District 1
Area sq. mi. (total) 19.9
Area sq. mi. (land) 19.5
Population/sq.mi. (land) 139.5
County: Kennebec

Total=land+water; Land=land only

Sign: Welcome to Chelsea (2007)

[CHEL-see] is a town in Kennebec County, incorporated on March 1, 1851 from a portion of Hallowell. It set off land to Pittston in 1855.

Chelsea was named for a Massachusetts town, which in turn was named for a section of London, England.

Chelsea Town Office on the Togus Road [Route 226] (2014)

Town Office (2014) @

Chelsea Market on the Togus Road [Route 226] (2014)

Chelsea Market (2014) @

The town office hosts the Chelsea veterans memorial and a smaller memorial plaque to Chester Caldwell “For his many years of service to the school and a dedicated ‘Town Father.'”

Chelsea Fire Department (2014)

Fire Department (2014) @

Chelsea Market, the Grange Hall, Fire Station and the School are all near the town office on the Togus Road (Route 226).

According to the 1886 Gazetteer of the State of Maine,

The principal stream is the 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 . . . .

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 Mane Central Railroad, on the opposite side of the river, is accessible by bridge or boat.

In 1867 and again in 1901, Chelsea ceded land to the “National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers” from the Civil War. (The town sent 98 soldiers to the war, 28 were killed.)

The institution eventually became the Togus Veterans Hospital, then Togus Medical Center, known generally as “Togus.”

Chelsea Grange Hall on the Togus Road [Route 226] (2014)

Chelsea Grange Hall (2014) @

Chelsea Elementary School on the Togus Road [Route 226] (2014)

Chelsea Elementary School (2014) @

In 1886 the town supported nine public schoolhouses, with a population in 1880 of 1,538.  Replacing the Chelsea Elementary School of the 1950s, the new school opened in 2011 on a 17 acre site near the old school.

Medal of Honor

Congressional Medal of Honor winner:

Civil War


Part of the greater Augusta area, the town occupies the east bank of the Kennebec River.

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board-Manager.

Additional resources

Davis, John, House. United States. Department of the Interior. National Park Service. (accessed February 19, 2017)

Douglas, A. N. A Brief History of Chelsea. 1905? [Maine State Library]

McCauley, Brian. The Names of Maine.  Wellesley, Ma. Acadia Press. 2004.

Taylor, Helen C. Chelsea, Maine History. Chelsea, Me. H.C. Taylor. c1996. [Maine State Library]

Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. pp. 170-172.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Davis, John, House

[Maine Route 9; N44° 16′ 26.13″ W69° 46′ 24.40″] The Davis House is a fine and well-preserved Federal farmhouse, and the only large house of its type and period in Chelsea or nearby. Apparently it was the home of a local builder who built most of the brick houses in the immediate vicinity. The brick Federal style farmhouse, usually a Cape but occasionally a full 2 1/2 stories, is a common type in the Kennebec Valley. The Davis House is one of the better houses of its kind in the larger Kennebec Valley towns.

John Davis House (2016)John Davis House (2016)Mr. Davis undoubtedly bought the property and built the house shortly after the land was surveyed in 1815. Davis was not only a farmer, but one of the greatest land speculators in the county, the apparent source of his prosperity.*

Governor’s House, National Historic Landmark, [See Togus]

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This entry was last modified: November 11, 2017 02:23 AM

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