Open for Business
The Bank opened for business on April 1, 1870 "occupying rooms" within Freeman's National Bank, at 192 Water Street. You can still see bars on the windows that face Commercial Street. The first treasurer (CEO) of Kennebec Savings Bank was Joseph L. Adams. The first customers were Mrs. Priscilla P. Hallett of Augusta; Mrs. Emma J. Adams of Augusta; and Mr. John Dunphy of Gardiner. Total deposits for the day were $410. Total assets at the end of 1870 were $84,571.
To put the times in perspective, Ulysses S. Grant was serving as President of the United States. James G. Blaine had been elected speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives in 1869. The nation was still trying to recover following the end of the Civil War in April 1865. Banking in the U. S. was undergoing dramatic changes, and a new Maine product, spruce chewing gum, was first introduced in 1870. Developed and manufactured by Curtis and Son of Portland, the gum business was later taken over by the Sen-Sen Chicklet Company. The Augusta Water Company was also established in 1870. As transportation made Maine more accessible, Maine actively began to attract vacationers during this time. The population of Augusta in 1870 was 7,803. Samuel Titcomb was Mayor.
In 1884, Freeman's charter expired. The bank closed, and its fixtures were sold to the new Augusta National Bank at 237 Water Street. Kennebec Savings Bank moved its office to this new location (you can still see the bars on the windows at the back of the building on Commercial Street at this location, as well). Martin V. B. Chase was President of both banks. In 1902, Augusta National Bank liquidated, but Kennebec Savings remained at that location until 1918.