Settled by Revolutionary War soldiers, this town in Somerset County was incorporated on March 7, 1804. In 1821 it annexed land from Hartland, and later from Brighton in 1838 and 1862. Somerset Academy, the early educational institution, now acts as the town office, the American Legion hall, and a Christian Fellowship meeting place.
Athens is adjoined by Solon, which was incorporated five years later. As Ava Chadbourne put it, When Athens was incorporated the name of the capital of ancient Greece was chosen for it by its inhabitants. At the incorporation of Solon, the name selected was that of one of the seven sages of Greece. Some lovers of ancient Greece and its lawgivers must have lived in this little town in Maine. It had a Greek Revival style meeting house at one point. The Union Meetinghouse, not a Greek Revival style, has served the community since 1840.
As have many rural communities, Athens has hosted a small agricultural fair for many years, including animal pulling contests, 4-H and other exhibits vying for blue ribbons, and a social gathering just after harvest time.
The main village in the town is north of Skowhegan following Route 150 to the junction with state routes 43 and 151. It is located at the fork of the East and West branches of Wesserunsett Stream, which joins the Kennebec River just below Skowhegan.