- About Kennebunk
- History of Kennebunk
About KennebunkKennebunk is located on the southwesterly coast of Maine just 90 miles north of Boston and 25 miles south of Portland. From our vibrant villages to our beautiful sandy beaches, Kennebunk offers a truly wonderful place to live and visit!
Kennebunk is rich with tradition and history. Rolling hills and a wide array of open spaces make our town a truly unique and special place. Originally an agricultural and shipbuilding settlement, Kennebunk has evolved into a favorite destination for travelers worldwide. From the Sea Captain's mansions on Summer Street to the beautiful flowing Mousam and Kennebunk rivers, there is certainly something in Kennebunk for everyone to enjoy! Whether you are a visitor or a resident, we are sure you will agree that Kennebunk is a wonderful place to be and provides a quality of life that is second to none! Read more...
The History of Kennebunkby Joyce Butler, Town Historian, 1996
The name Kennebunk means "long cut bank," probably in reference to Great Hill at the mouth of the Mousam River, which would have been an important landmark to native Americans coming along the coast in their ocean-going canoes.
The first Europeans to visit the shores of southern Maine probably were sixteenth-century fishermen. Although it is well known that these fishing parties put ashore along the coast of Maine, whether any landed on Kennebunk's beaches is not part of the present historical record. At that time the native population followed a pattern of seasonal migration, living near the coast during the warmer months of the year, moving inland during the colder months. The presence of native Americans in Kennebunk was even then an ancient tradition. Because of recent archaeological excavations it is known that 11,000 years ago PaleoIndian hunters traveled seasonally to the Kennebunk Plains from throughout the Northeast to trap and kill bison and caribou. Read the complete history!
Museum in the Streets
Be sure to check out our Museum in the Streets project, a heritage discovery trail for the benefit of Kennebunk's residents and tourists.
This is a free walking tour that fosters a sense of historical identity, educates, encourages preservation of local historic sites and promotes knowledge of stories, events and traditions. Our 25 historical panels, rich with local archival imagery, are installed around town.
The panels that make up the tour invite people to discover Kennebunk's unique story at their own pace, over the course of an afternoon or several return visits.
Brick Store Museum
The museum functions as the art and history center of the Kennebunks and the Southern Maine area. Dedicated to exhibiting educational and exhilarating stories through the scope of local people and places, the Museum keeps a schedule of rotating exhibitions in six galleries throughout the year. The Museum is located at 117 Main Street in Kennebunk. Download the Brick Store Museum's History Hopper App now!
Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Arundel Chamber of Commerce
For a guide of what to do, where to stay, dining choices, and local events, you'll find this and much more at the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Arundel Chamber of Commerce.