Mount Vernon is a rural town with a year-round population of around 2,000 residents.
Located about 20 miles northwest of Augusta, about one-third of the town's housing units are seasonal properties with frontage on Echo Lake, Torsey Pond, Long Pond, Parker Pond, Flying Pond, Minnehonk Lake or one of the other smaller ponds within the town boundaries. The major highway route through town is Maine Route 41.
Mount Vernon consists of a small commercial village home to several small locally-owned novelty shops, a cafe, the Fire Station, the Post Office, and a traditional Maine country store. It also includes town-owned access to Minnehonk Lake in the middle of the village area. The activity and economy of the town increases greatly during the summer months as owners from outside town and outside Maine flock to their waterfront camps and cottages for summer recreation. But even in the summer, Mount Vernon retains its small-town, rural qualities that it's residents harbor and cherish.
Settled in 1775 and incorporated in 1850, Manchester is located immediately west of Maine's capital city of Augusta and also offers easy access to the abutting Kennebec River city of Hallowell. It has a year-round population of approximately 2,500.
While it still has active agricultural properties, Manchester is best-known today for its active business community along US Rt. 202, which runs east-west through the middle of the community, and for its substantial frontage on Cobbosseecontee Lake.
Local businesses are a veritable potpourri - with a mix that includes convenience stores, car dealers, a car wash, a commercial and residential glass company, gift shops, a bank, a lakeside motel, an antiques mall, a paving company, contractors, pizza and sandwich shops, the first retail fireworks store in Maine, and the venerable Augusta Country Club golf course.
The lakeshore community on the Cobbosseecontee Lake includes a yacht club which is said to be the oldest active inland-water yacht club in the United States. The club built a lighthouse on a prominent ledge in the Lake's North Bay in 1908 and proudly continues to maintain and operate it today. It is said to be the only continuously-operating landlocked lighthouse in Maine today, flashing its beacon 365 days a year.
In addition to US 202, other major highway routes in Manchester include Maine Routes 11 and 17 and 100.
Readfield is located about 10 miles from the State House in Augusta and offers a mixture of small town and rural community life. With a year-round population of about 2,500, it also serves as a summertime home to owners of waterfront properties on Maranacook Lake, Torsey Pond and Lovejoy Pond.
Readfield is home to three distinct "village" areas. The first, Readfield Corner, is at the intersection of Maine Routes 17 and 41. It hosts the town municipal offices, the town fire station, a bank, the Readfield Post Office, a restaurant, a natural foods store, a convenience store, and several local businesses. The second, "The Depot", where the town's railroad station was once located, is home to the Readfield Historical Society, a convenience store, a seafood shop, and a small-business incubator. The third area, Kent's Hill, is named after the well-known college preparatory boarding and day school which has been part of the community since the 1820's. Today it hosts students from across the country and literally around the world. It is believed to be one of the first, and possibly the oldest continuously operating, co-educational prep schools in the nation. On a campus along Rt. 17 between Readfield Corner and Readfield Depot, the town hosts a campus that includes multi-town Middle and High Schools serving several area communities.
While it still has several actively-working farms within town borders, Readfield is also home to one of the world's leading manufacturers of aluminum forms holders and plastic and aluminum clipboards. The headquarters of the Saunders Manufacturing Company sits quietly on one of the local roads off Maine Route 17.
Readfield also prides itself on protecting and preserving local outdoor recreational, opportunities, including operation of a town beach on Maranacook Lake and a growing system of walking and hiking trails on a variety of town-owned properties.
In addition to Route 17, other major highway access is provided via Maine Routes 41 and 135.
Wayne is a small town 15 miles west of Augusta. Wayne's population of around 1,200 doubles in the summer as visitors from all over the world come here to swim, sail and paddle in seven water bodies, including Androscoggin Lake and Berry Pond, pick strawberries and blueberries and enjoy fresh, seasonal food from local farms.
A classic New England village, Wayne is a close-knit community with two churches, a library and a recreation center that offer enriching programs year-round. There are several specialty shops and Julian’s General Store that boasts homemade breads, soups and deli take-out, as well as a large selection of wine and beer.
Opportunities to rent property for a week or the season abound and visitors can enjoy a peaceful stay that is a short drive from fine restaurants, the mountains and other artistic and recreational entertainment. Wayne is accessed via Route 133.
Settled in 1771 and located about 10 miles West of Augusta, Winthrop is a business and service center for the Western Kennebec region. It has a population of about 6,200 that swells in the summertime as people flock to the shores of Cobbosseecontee, Annabesacook and Maranacook Lakes, as well as several sizable ponds. It has a vibrant downtown Main Street area that offers eateries, shops, ball fields, tennis courts, a skate park, town beach, the Norcross Point waterfront park and a public boat launch. With several navigable water bodies, the Mt. Pisgah trail and quiet country roads within the roughly 31-square-mile area, Winthrop offers residents and visitors alike plenty of opportunity year-round to embrace the town’s slogan, We Play Outside.
One of Maine's traditional Mill towns, Winthrop has a diverse economy and features high-tech, light manufacturing, medical and professional services, tourism and recreational businesses and several local farms that provide food at their farm stands, local farmers’ market and nearby restaurants. Winthrop draws shoppers from the surrounding towns and commuters that travel between the Lewiston/Auburn and Augusta corridor on Route 202. Additional road access is provided by Maine Routes 133 and 41.
Winthrop also offers a free summer concert series, sidewalk art festival, holiday parades, live music, theater and dance at the Performing Arts Center and a multitude of programs for adults and children at the Bailey Library. Winthrop High School was listed as one of the best in the state in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 guide.
Located approximately halfway between Augusta and Lewiston/Auburn along Route 202, Monmouth has a population of around 4,000 which grows during the summer months as residents take advantage of properties along the shores of Cobbossee Lake, Annabessacook Lake, Sand Pond, Cochnewagon Lake, and Wilson Pond.
The town has a small commercial district that is currently undergoing some renovation and revitalization efforts. Local agricultural is a strong focus in the region, with farms producing a wide variety of produce, animal products, Christmas trees and maple products.
Cumston Hall, built in the Queen Anne style in 1900 currently houses the town’s Library, space for community gatherings and renown Theater at Monmouth. The Theater draws audiences from across Maine to its widely-acclaimed seasonal performances ranging from traditional Shakespeare to those geared towards children and families.
Monmouth is also home base for to TexTech, a global leader in high-tech fabric development and manufacturing. In operation since 1904, they produce aircraft seat fire-blocking material, tennis ball felt, and ballistic fabrics and composite materials.
The town is also home to local banks, eateries and convenience stores. The town is currently engaged in downtown redevelopment efforts.
The Town of Fayette is 18 miles northwest of Augusta and 10 miles east of Livermore Falls, which lies in Androscoggin County. Fayette is rural and a seasonal resort, with Echo Lake, Lovejoy Pond, Parker Pond, David Pond and Tilton Pond, and at least eight smaller ponds within its roughly 30 square miles. With a population of about 1,100 that doubles in the summertime, Fayette remains a scenic, rural community with no specific village center. Every summer Echo Lake comes alive as Camps Winnebago and Vega host hundreds of young boys and girls and anglers, boaters and during the winter, snowmobilers and Nordic skiers enjoy traveling the landscape.
Fayette is accessed via Maine Route 17 and is adjacent to Wayne and Readfield.