Read each panel!
1. Wallingford Hall
21 York Street
This Federal style home was designed by Thomas Eaton in 1804 for George Washington Wallingford. George W. was born in New Hampshire in 1775. He was the son of Samuel Wallingford who was killed in a naval battle during the Revolutionary War, while acting as Lieutenant of Marines on the "Ranger", commanded by John Paul Jones. George was a graduate of Harvard College in 1795. He was admitted to the bar in 1798 and began practicing law in Kennebunk in 1800. He married Abagail Chadbourne of Berwick, Maine in February of 1806. Abagail and George had one daughter named Elizabeth Abagail that following December. Following his wife's death in 1808, George married Mary Fisher of Kennebunk who was daughter of Dr. Jacob Fisher. She was 13 years his junior. Mary and George had six children prior to his own death in 1824 at the age of 49.
2. The Mousam River
It is believed that the Mousam River takes its name from an Indian word but the true meaning of that word has long been lost. Some speculate that "Mousam" means "Moose". The face of the river front has changed over the years, as is seen in this turn-of-the-century photograph. The small gambrel styled home just beyond this park at 7 Water Street, is one of the oldest structures in Kennebunk. Old deed tells us that it was built sometime prior to 1790. Another of our oldest structures is the home at 28 Water Street was built c 1770 by Theodore Lyman originally on upper Main Street. Next it was moved to Summer Street in 1777 and finally it was moved here to Water Street in 1885.
2 Storer / 4 Main Street
Numerous manufacturers have occupied this site throughout Kennebunk’s history. Since the first settlement of Kennebunk in the mid 1600’s, till now, the Mousam River has been the site of many industries including sawmills, textile and matting mills, shoe mills, an iron mill, paper mills, grist mills, trunk and leatherboard manufacturers, as well as sash and blind manufacturing mills. This building, now known as the Lafayette Center was built following a destructive fire in 1903. Built from brick this became the site of the Goodall Worsted (Matting) Company and later in 1926 became the home of the Kesslen Shoe Company which closed in 1972. Now this building houses several businesses.
7 Storer Street
This home was constructed circa 1765 by Joseph Storer and his wife Hannah (March).
The original home of the Storer family was built in 1758 and was much smaller. It occupied the spot where the Parkside Condominiums now stand (17 Storer Street). It was said to have been one of the first homes painted (red) in Kennebunk. That original home was moved in 1905 to Hovey Street, (now located at 15 Hovey Street) where it still stands today. Storer owned a sawmill, country store and grist mill. He entered the Revolutionary War in 1777 as a colonel of a regiment of infantry. He was taken sick and died from disease during the battle of Saratoga at the age of 51. The original barn, which had a tree growing up through its roof, was taken down in 1920. The present barn was dismantled in Sanford and moved to this site in 1990. It was rebuilt around a large sugar maple to resemble the original barn and tree. The General Marquis de Lafayette, of Revolutionary War fame, was said to have visited this home in 1825.
5. The Ross Block & The Kennebunk Inn
41 Main Street & 45 Main Street
This brick building was built by Dr. Frank Ross in 1885 following destructive fires which destroyed the two previous wooden buildings that stood here. This brick building, originally only two stories tall, initially housed Dr. Ross’s office and pharmacy. It has housed various businesses over the years including a post office, barber shop, printing establishment, drug store with soda counter and a hardware store.
Dr. Frank Ross resided in the home directly across Grove Street in what is now the Kennebunk Inn. The inn was built as a private home circa 1799 by Benjamin Smith. It was later purchased and converted into a tavern in 1928.
6. The Bourne Mansion8 Bourne Street
This three story Federal home was built in 1812 for John Usher Parsons and his bride Susanna Savary. Mr. Parsons died soon after in 1815. The home was then purchased in 1816 by Daniel Sewall, Registrar of Probate. All of the county court records were originally housed here until the establishment of the York County Court in Alfred, Maine in 1819. The house is attributed to architect Thomas Eaton. The lawn, originally terraced, originally extended all the way to Main Street. The home was inherited by Edward Emerson Bourne, Jr. from his aunt Maria Sewall. He was the Judge of Probate for York County, Maine. The home was next inherited by Harold H. Bourne who was also a judge and married many couples here in his home.
92 Main Street
This Greek Revival style home was built by Beniah Littlefied for Horace Porter in 1848. The land was originally owned by by Horace's father, Joseph Porter who operated a tin shop on the premises. Horace was a wealthy merchant who had this home built for his retirement. The home changed ownership several times following Porter's death until it was eventually purchased in 1952 by the Kennebunk by the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District to be used as its headquarters. The water trough in the front yard of the building once stood on Main Street near the corner of Garden Street.
99 Main Street
This Federal Style Home was built in 1799 by Thomas Eaton who was responsible for many residential and public buildings in Kennebunk. The original building on this lot was built by Theodore Lyman in 1790 and later moved. The building is now a private residence at 28 Water Street. This property is sometimes referred to as "Lexington Elms" for the elm trees Mr. Lyman had planted in the front yard to commemorate the Battle of Lexington. Sadly these elms died from Dutch Elm disease in the 1960's.
117 Main Street
This group of buildings which now form the Brick Store Museum were operated as separate businesses throughout the decades. The brick building was erected in 1825 by wealthy merchant and ship owner, William Barry. In 1936, Lord's great-grandmother Edith Cleaves Barry, inherited the building & established the Brick Store Museum in its place. The remaining 3 buildings were purchase by Barry over time for the museum & eventually connected so that they now form one cohesive block. The building to the left of the Brick Store Museum was built for merchant Nathaniel Frost in 1793.
10. First Parish Unitarian UniversalistChurch
114 Main Street
This church was built in 1772 -1773 on land donated by Colonel Joseph Storer, to house the congregation which was originally located at the at the Kennebunk Landing. The church was enlarged by Thomas Eaton in 1797 & the bell tower was constructed. The 1st clock was installed in 1859 & the present clock faces were installed in 1883. The bell was cast by Paul Revere and Sons in 1803 & originally cost $452. It is one of only 23 Revere Bells still in existence. The original ear of corn weather vane was made of wood & iron in 1804. It was a sign of prosperity. In 2003 it taken down & replaced with an exact replica in 2003. The original can be found at the Brick Store Museum. Rev. Joshua Swan was a minister here from 1850 – 1869.
9 Barnard Lane
This Colonial Style home was built for post rider Joseph Barnard who originally carried mail in saddlebags from Boston to Falmouth, Maine. This was later followed by stage in which he also carried passengers beginning in 1787. His fee for passengers was 20 shillings per person. In 1917 this building was owned by the Day family who operated it as a guesthouse called "The Old Stage Tavern". The building survived a devastating fire in 1975 and was threatened with demolition. Luckily it was saved by a local history enthusiast: Bill Johnson of this town.
9 Green Street
The Dr. Lemuel Richards House was originally built in 1800 for William Taylor who lived in the home until 1815. After suffering financial losses, due to the War of 1812, Taylor sold the home to William Hacket & Timothy Frost who were hatters. Eventually, after a number of occupants & the addition of older building sections, the home was sold to Dr. Lemuel Richards in 1867. Dr. Richards practiced medicine locally & occupied the home with his family until his death in 1887. His daughter Helen remained in the home until her death in 1931. The home has subsequently passed to family members through the years & is currently owned by a descendant of Dr. Richards. The interior remains fairly unchanged since 1800. The photo is of Helen Richards.
13. Zion's Hill
23 & 26 Summer Street
The upper section of Summer Street was settled by wealthy ship builders & merchants, many belonging to the Lord, Kingsbury & Bourne families. It became known as Zion’s Hill in 1833 when the sale of liquor was hotly debated and opposed by the townspeople. Local store owner, John Osborne is reported to have stood up at a Town Meeting and protested “if the Lords of Zion’s Hill would just mind their own business and allow me to tend to mine, there would be no trouble about this liquor business!’. These houses form in part what is now the National Register Historic District of Kennebunk which was established in 1976.
14. Park Street School
14 Park Street
The first school to be built on this site was called Union Academy. Built by subscription in 1833 it functioned as a school for those students near the center of town until it was consumed by fire in 1870. The next structure was built of brick in 1871 & was called the Kennebunk High and Grammar School. That building was enlarged in 1899 to nearly double its size. Finally in 1920 the Kennebunk High School and Grammar School was deemed inadequate & torn down. This brick building in front of you was constructed in 1921. As the population of the town grew, this school was also outgrown. A new High School was built on Fletcher Street in 1939. This building is now a housing complex.
15. Boston & Maine R.R. Depot
12 Depot Street
This depot was constructed in 1872 when the Boston & Maine operated its branch line between Portland and South Berwick, ME. It is an example of Stick-Style architecture. As passengers arrived they were met by either stage coach or horse with buggy to be taken to their destinations. After 1902 they took the Atlantic Shore Line Railway which ran electric trolleys throughout the area and picked up passengers on Summer Street.
Trains still run on these tracks but no longer stop at this depot which now houses local businesses.
16. The James Hubbard Home
56 Summer Street
This colonial saltbox home was built circa 1750 making it one of only a handful of colonial homes still left standing in Kennebunk. It was built for Captain James Hubbard who was originally from Berwick, Maine. Hubbard commanded of a company of men from Southern Maine during the initial days of the Revolutionary War. His company of men which included his son Diamond, marched to Cambridge, MA for a term of 8 months. Captain Hubbard died in service at Cambridge in 1775 at the age of 47. The building to the rear of the home was once the attached barn which is now a residence.
17. The George Wise Home
67 Summer Street
This second empire style home with mansard roof was built for merchant George Wise in 1868, just 3 years after the Civil War ended. This home occupies the site which was previously owned by George’s Father, Captain Daniel Wise who fought in the Revolutionary War. When built in 1868 this home was the first home in the village to have steam heat which was installed at a cost of $1000. Later, it was operated as a guest house in the mid 1930’s and called “The Willard”. In 1956 it became a funeral home. This business has been owned and operated by the Bibber family since 1956.
18. The Bridle Path & The Kennebunk &Kennebunkport Railroad Company
Beginning at the railroad depot in Kennebunk on Depot Street, the Bridle Path runs along the Mousam River and ends in Lower Village Kennebunk. This trail was created on the abandoned railroad bed of the Kennebunk & Kennebunkport Railroad Company. It was built in 1883 as a branch off the Boston & Maine Railroad to bring tourists and residents to the inns and homes which were springing up near the beaches. This Railroad line predominantly followed an ancient trail created by the earliest settlers of Kennebunk. The map by William Berry depicts the colonial homes and the Larrabee Garrison which stood approximately a mile and a half down river from here. This photo is of the Kennebunk Beach Station which stoof off this rail line on Sea Road.
19.The Wedding Cake Hous
e104 Summer Street
Originally this Federal Style, brick home, was unadorned when built by George Washington Bourne in 1826. The main structure is brick. Following a fire in 1852, which destroyed the original barn, Bourne decided to rebuild it. He added decorative embellishments which were inspired by those on Italy’s Milan Cathedral. He and his carpenter’s apprentice, Thomas Durell, designed and carved all of the wooden trim that decorates this home. The name “Wedding Cake House” was invented by a postcard maker in the early 1900’s and came with a fanciful tale about a ship’s captain sailing before he was able to cut his wedding cake, which was totally fictitious…but sold many postcards. Information about all of the homes in Kennebunk’s Historic District may be found at the Brick Store Museum.
20. The Landing
The depression in the bank across the street is one of the last visible remains of the once thriving shipbuilding industry which existed along the western banks of the Kennebunk River. Prior to 1790 most shipbuilding was done on the Mousam River. In 1790 ship builder Tobias Lord began building vessels on the Kennebunk River & eventually over a dozen other shipyards were in operation here at what is known as the “Kennebunk Landing”. This in-land location was ideal for protection from the coast as well as for timber supply. Over 100 vessels were built here until the end of the Civil War. The demand for larger vessels made this location obsolete and shipbuilding began to take place closer to the ocean at Lower Village Kennebunk and in Kennebunkport.
21. The Hugh McCulloch House
160 Summer Street
The Hugh McCulloch House was actually built in 1787 for Thomas Wiswell. The home has a massive center chimney and the three upstairs bedrooms have hinged walls which can be swung upward and secured to the ceiling to create a large ballroom. The original barn and ell no longer exist. Shipbuilder Hugh McCulloch purchased the home in 1801 at the age of 28 and commenced building ships in his shipyard behind this house.. His son, also named Hugh, was born shortly after in 1808. Hugh Jr. would later become Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln.
22. The Titcomb Garrison6 Old Port Road
This home is perhaps the oldest home in Kennebunk. Stephen Titcomb came to Kennebunk from Newburyport, NH & built this home circa 1740 with garrison defenses for protection from Indian attacks. The home was modified a few years later to resemble the main structure you see now. Titcomb was a shipbuilder, mill man, lumberman & trader. Stephen & his wife Abigail Stone had seven children. Following her death he married Mary Burnham, with whom he had seven more children. When Mary died he wed Hannah Bragdon, with whom he had two more children. His last wife was widow Mary Gates. Stephen died in 1815 in his nineties a very wealthy & well respected man.
23. The Butland Shipyard & Cemetery
More than 20 vessels were built on the Mousam River between the years of 1760 & 1790. Most were built here at what was then “The John Butland Shipyard”. The largest weighed nearly 240 tons. Many of the earliest settlers of Kennebunk are buried just beyond, on the knoll to the left as well as near the Larrabee Garrison site, a short distance away. The exact location of most of the graves is no longer visible. When the Kennebunk & Kennebunkport Railroad operated on this now abandoned line called “The Bridal Path”, passengers commented that they were able to look upon the many grave markers on each side of the track.
24. The Larrabee Garrison
Near this spot stood the Larrabee Garrison which was constructed between 1714 – 1727 by William & Stephen Larrabee. It embraced more than an acre of ground & had thick timber walls. Within the walls were five houses. These houses were that of the Larrabees, Edward Evans, Ebenezar Bayridge & two homes for Nathan Morrison & the soldiers under his command. The log home of Anthony Littlefield stood just beyond the garrison gates. During times of hostilities with the Native Americans, all who lived within the vicinity would take refuge within these walls as well. Historian William Barry placed a large granite monument just off this path to commemorate the site. The graves of the settlers including Stephen Larrabee are buried near the monument but their markers are no longer visible.
25. The Indian Mound
Just below this point near the Mousam River is an unusually shaped mound. For well over 160 years this mound has been referred to as “The Indian Mound”. Local legend claims this was the site of a Native American burial. Others believed this to be a Native American shell heap. In fact, according to the State Archeologist in Augusta, Maine, it is neither. It is not man made at all and is actually a glacial drumlin which was created during the ice age. Decades of Kennebunk youth have spent summer days looking in vain for arrowheads here. The grass near the base of the mound is known as horsetail grass or scouring grass which has fueled the legend as well because Native Americans used this rush to polish bows and arrows.