This collection, established in 1989, is the inspiration of Arboretum namesake and Augusta philanthropist Elsie Viles. Elsie felt that in representing the State of Maine as well as being in the Capitol City and within sight of the Statehouse, the Arboretum was the logical place to establish the Governors Grove. The Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), Maine’s official State tree, was selected as the most appropriate tree species to be used for this collection.
By the time this collection was established, seventy-one governors had been in office. Most governors since the collection’s establishment in 1989 have walked the grounds of the Arboretum and held a planting ceremony on this very site. Trees were selected and planted to honor our earlier Governors beginning with Maine’s first Governor William King elected in 1820, and we continue the tradition with each newly elected governor.
Enjoy the shade and tranquility provided by these trees. Contemplate the history of Maine, once part of Massachusetts and granted statehood on March 15, 1820. Consider the many and varied challenges faced by our governors over more than 180 years. Perhaps this collection will inspire you to learn more about our state and its governors.