The Togus VA Medical Center and National Cemetery, located within the towns of Augusta and Chelsea, Kennebec County, Maine, was once the former Eastern Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Founded in 1866, it is the oldest veteran's facility in the country. It is presently home to the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical and Regional Office Center. The center consists of a medical complex with historic and modern residential, hospital, and support buildings, along with two historic national cemeteries, in a landscaped setting. The site is approximately 506 acres and is characterized by heavily wooded areas, hilly terrain to the west and a flat valley at the east, creeks, ponds, and curving roads. The historic buildings constructed between 1869 and 1960 consist of well-designed examples of popular Victorian and Art Deco styles executed in brick and stone, with a few wood-frame examples. The site reflects the evolution of veterans' care from the long-term, domiciliary model provided to Civil War veterans to the short-term, rehabilitative model emphasized by the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) following its establishment in 1930 and the transition of Togus in 1943 to a neuropsychiatric facility. The district has significance in the area of social history for its early federal expression of social welfare which created and maintained a core value associated with the American people: caring for the soldiers who defended the country during wartime.
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