History is about going back in time to look at where one started and be proud of where you are and what you have become. Although the Capital Area Federal Credit Union charter was established in 1954, our history goes back even further to 1935. Through a path of consolidation, several different credit unions became one.
Kennebec Journal Employee Federal Credit-Charter #671
In October 1935, the same year the Federal Credit Union Act came into Law, a small group of 7 men established the Kennebec Journal Employees Federal Credit Union, charter number 671. This credit union would operate in the Augusta, Gardiner, Hallowell, and Winthrop territories in Maine. The field of membership would be limited to those having the common bond association, occupation, or residence of those employees working for the Kennebec Journal newspaper and members of their immediate families and any association of such employees. These same 7 men envisioned this not-for-profit credit union to be able to accumulate savings that would then provide a source of borrowing to the employees and their families and did so for the next 49 years under the name of Kennebec Journal Federal Credit Union.
Augusta Pulp & Sulphite Federal Credit Union-Charter #9919
In 1954, Augusta Pulp & Sulphite Federal Credit Union, charter number 9919, was established in Augusta Maine, with the signing of the Federal Charter by 10 men and women, all laborers in the local pulp and paper industry. The field of membership was limited to employees and their immediate families, and organizations of such persons of the Kennebec Pulp & Paper Company, a division of Hudson Pulp & Paper Corporation. In the late 1960’s the company changed ownership, so the charter was reworded to read “employees of Statler Tissue Corporation, immediate families and organizations of such persons. The mill, as the credit union, was located on the banks of the Kennebec River in the capital city of Augusta, Maine. During this time the credit union was an extremely important source of savings and credit to the members, many of whom were having issues securing credit elsewhere. The credit union was a source of saving stability for those underserved and viewed as a risk by the finance companies and banks in the area. In 1972, NCUA approved the amendment of bylaws section 5 in reference to “field of membership” to persons who reside in, or work in, the city of Augusta, Maine; unmarried spouses of persons who died while within the field of membership of the credit union; employees of the credit union; member of their immediate families; and organizations of such persons.
Augusta (ME) Municipal Federal Credit Union-Charter #9431
In 1954, Augusta (ME) Municipal Federal Credit Union was established with the charter number of 9431, located in Augusta, Maine, it was established by 7 men and women, with the field of membership limited to those having the common bond association, occupation, or resident of employees of the City of Augusta, Maine; employees of the credit union, members of their immediate families; and organizations of such persons. In 1965 the name was changed to Kennebec County Federal Credit Union.
East Augusta Federal Credit Union
In 1954, East Augusta Federal Credit Union was established to serve those consumers that lived and worked on the East Side of Augusta, Maine. For the next 33 years, East Augusta Federal Credit Union served the East side of Augusta offering savings and loans to the community. In June of 1975, East Augusta merged with Augusta Pulp & Sulphite Federal Credit Union with the surviving credit union name East Augusta Federal Credit Union and continued charter number of 9919. In 1987 East Augusta Federal Credit Union merged with Capital Area Federal Credit Union.
Kennebec County Federal Credit Union-charter #9431
In 1965, after the name change, Kennebec County Federal Credit Union continued to grow and receive requests for membership. The name change better served the field of membership of the City of Augusta employees in the Kennebec County. In 1977, the credit union continued to receive letters from the Chairman of the County Commissioners office requesting Special Employee Group (SEG) approval as they wanted to give an added benefit to their employees of the advantage of credit union services that they probably wouldn’t get elsewhere. So, in July 1977, the charter change was approved to include the employees of Kennebec County and the major work locations of these employees, including teachers within the Kennebec County area.
Capital Area Federal Credit Union-charter #9919
Then in 1984, Kennebec Journal Federal Credit Union, charter number 671 merged with Capital Area Federal Credit Union. In addition to the merger, the charter was also amended to include nine (9) additional special employee groups (“seg”); Gannett Graphic Company, Pine State Tobacco & Candy Co., Hallowell Shoe Company, Goold Health Systems, Hallowell Printing Company, Augusta True Value, and Artiste Trophy Co. as well as their immediate families. As our reputation of offering affordable financial services to our community grew, Capital Area Federal Credit Union (still under the charter number 671), acquired additional “seg” groups of Paul F Zendzian, P.A. firm, Frank Pomerleau Inc. and its subsidiary N.R.F Distribution Inc., Augusta Holiday Inn and J&S Oil, Inc. By the end of 1985, Capital Area had grown by leaps and bounds and acquired the “seg” group Transco and their wholly owned subsidiaries and/or franchises which included Mattson’s Home Decorator Center, Trends Interiors, Discount Office Products and Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers and the list goes on for several more years after. In April 1987, the merger of East Augusta Federal Credit Union and Capital Area Federal Credit Union was approved. The surviving credit union was Capital Area Federal Credit Union with charter number of 9919 (established in 1954 by Augusta Pulp and Sulphite FCU). With this merger, charter number 9919, now under Capital Area Federal Credit Union; the vision of a diversed membership became reality. With the knowledge and history of the credit unions before; we knew what would work and what wouldn’t. In 1994, another opportunity developed for Capital Area Federal Credit Union and Kennebec County Federal Credit Union, and on November 30, 1994, a merger was completed and the surviving credit union was Capital Area, with the continued charter number 9919. Now we fast forward to 2003/2004 when NCUA approved a charter change to our field of membership. This community charter enabled the credit union to serve anyone who lives works, worships and attends school in all of Kennebec, Lincoln and Waldo Counties. At Capital Area we have always tried to build products and services that best meet the needs of our members, so our tag line was then developed; “It’s All About You”. During the long history of this credit union the functions were sometimes handled out of the manager’s kitchen or basement, an office space built in old homes, and even out of what once was a closet in the old Kennebec Journal Newspaper building. In 2007 the decision was made to take our philosophy of building products and services around the needs of our members and a plan to build a facility that also meets their needs was initiated. It is so important to note that this project was very unique. We didn’t follow the traditional route and hire a big construction firm; we wanted this facility to be special, something the entire membership and community could be proud of; so our facility was built by members, for members. From the construction of the building, furniture and fixtures, flooring and painting, right down to the artwork and pictures that would hang on the walls. When we couldn’t use a member, we used a local community business.
Capital Area Federal Credit Union current Building
Capital Area Federal Credit Union 65th anniversary
Augusta Pulp & Sulphite later Statler Tissue Paper Mill