Chelsea, incorporated on March 1, 1851 from a portion of Hallowell, was named for a Massachusetts town, which in turn was named for a section of London, England. Chelsea is the “gateway to the capital,” laying directly to the south of Augusta.
Chelsea is home to the Togus Veterans Administration facilities, whose campus has an interesting story. Horace Beals, a granite dealer, built a resort hotel, the Togus Springs Hotel, on the site of mineral springs from the Worromontogus Stream in 1858. The 134-room hotel did not prove profitable, and the property was sold to United States government in 1866. Togus was transformed from a hotel into the first veterans facility developed by the federal government. In 1904, the number of veterans living at the facility peaked at nearly 2,800, with most men living in dormitories or in small cottages on the grounds. The Togus of today is named Togus VA Medical Center and is operated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The facility is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
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.’”