Louis T. Graves Memorial Library // 1813

What is known today as the public library of Kennebunkport, the Louis T. Graves Memorial Library was not always used for books and learning. Built in 1813 as a branch office of the Kennebunk National Bank, the brick structure was valuable as a local bank for the growing port neighborhood. By 1831, the Kennebunk Bank’s charter was revoked and they sold their branch location to the U.S. Government as a Customs House (the second floor was already partially occupied as a Customs House). By the end of the 19th century, the second floor was leased out to the Kennebunkport Public Library. The Customs District was eliminated in 1913, and by 1920, the building was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Abbott Graves, who purchased the property at auction for $1,350., the couple lived just a couple blocks away in a rare Prairie style home. In 1921, the Graves family deeded the property to the Library Association on the condition that the Library be named in memory of their deceased son Louis T. Graves who valued books all his life.

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