Yet another of the large summer “cottages” in the Cape Arundel Summer Colony of Kennebunkport is this stunning eclectic home, built in 1899 for Edwin Packard of New York. As a young man, Edwin married Julia Hutchinson and would soon amass an ample fortune. He became European buyer for A.T. Stewart & Co. In 1889 he came President of the Franklin Trust Company, resigning in 1892 to become President of the New York Guaranty and Indemnity Company. He was a Director of the Franklin Safe Deposit Company, the American Writing Paper Company, the Fajardo Sugar Company and the Brooklyn YMCA, and a member of the New York Chamber of Commerce. Busy man! From his wealth, he sought solitude and relaxation in Kennebunkport, hiring Maine architect John Calvin Stevens to design this cottage for his family to retreat to for summers away from the city. The Shingle style and Colonial Revival style house features a prominent gambrel roof, Palladian windows, and bay windows, all covering a sweeping front porch.
Juniper Ledge Cottage // 1889
Ellen Kemble (Bartol) Brazier was born in New York City in 1844, the eldest of four children of Barnabas and Emma Bartol. Her father had many business interests in sugar refining and the family was able to travel the world from his wealth and success. The family spent most of their time in Philadelphia, but like many of the city’s wealthy residents, they often summered elsewhere. Ellen Bartol married Joseph Harrison Brazier in 1866 and they had two children. When her father Barnabas died, Ellen inherited some of his remaining fortune and as a part of high society, she had a summer cottage in Kennebunkport built. Working with Maine architect John Calvin Stevens, she oversaw the designs of Juniper Ledge, this gorgeous, eclectic shingled residence in the Cape Arundel summer colony. Ellen would summer at the cottage until her death in 1925, but before she died, she joined her daughter in the 1910s and 1920s at Women’s Suffrage events and fundraisers, helping to pass the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote in the United States. Ellen is buried in the West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia next to her husband, not far from her parents.
Grayling Cottage // c.1900
John Bach McMaster (1852 –1932) was born in Brooklyn, New York to a rich plantation owning father and mother who ran operations in New Orleans until the outbreak of the Civil War. After this, John graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1872, worked as a civil engineer in 1873–1877. Falling in love with the field of American History, he switched careers and in 1883, became professor of American history in the University of Pennsylvania. McMaster is best known for his History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War (1883), a valuable supplement to the more purely political writings of earlier years. The book was a huge success and John was able to purchase house lots in the newly established Cape Arundel Summer Colony in Kennebunkport, Maine, a colony populated by many wealthy Philadelphians for summer homes. He first appears to have built “The Kedge”, a chunky, but beautiful cottage on a cliff. McMaster would also have this larger cottage built by the turn of the 20th century, which in design, appears to be a more eclectic Shingle style dwelling. Just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, the house features continuous cedar shingle siding, sweeping porches to provide views of the ocean, a prominent chimney, and Colonial-inspired fanlight motifs.
Gable and Tower Cottages // 1889
These two similar houses in the Cape Arundel Summer Colony in Kennebunkport, Maine, were built in 1889 for Prosper Louis Senat (1852–1925) and his wife Clementine. Prosper was a well-known artist from Philadelphia, who would summer in Kennebunkport and traveled the world with Clementine, painting landscapes and seascapes. Senat and his wife lived in one cottage and likely rented the other to family and friends when visiting town. His studio was built on a nearby street and is extant. Tower cottage (greenish-grey) was renamed Shady Oak Cottage in the 20th century. Both cottages were built by George Gooch, a local contractor from plans by an unknown architect and feature bay windows, short towers, smaller windows, and continuous shingle siding.
Glen Cottage // c.1850
Not all of Kennebunkport’s summer “cottages” are grand, Shingle style mansions… Glen Cottage was originally built in c.1850 as a Greek Revival style cape house. As the town developed into a desirable summer colony for wealthy residents of Boston, New York and Philadelphia, the small cottage caught the eye of a Ms. Garrard. Margaret Garrard purchased Glen Cottage in 1900 and hired Maine architect William Barry to transform the old cape, adding the dormers, octagonal bay, and door hood. Here, she ran the Bonnie Brig Tearoom for twenty years. Tea houses were important social centers for wealthy summer residents Later owners renamed the tea house, “The Old Tree Tea Tavern” and “Periwinkle” but in 1926, the name reverted to The Bonnie Brig Tearoom. Today, the cottage has reverted back to residential use with the owners lovingly maintaining the old cape.
The Floats // 1900
Newton Booth Tarkington (1869–1946) was an American author best known for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) and Alice Adams (1921). He is one of only four novelists to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was considered the greatest living American author in much of the 1910s and 1920s. While he was born and grew up in Indiana, “Booth” eventually fell in love with the coast of Maine, and built a home in the charming village of Kennebunkport. In Kennebunkport, he was well known as a sailor, and his schooner, the Regina, survived him. Regina was moored next to Tarkington’s boathouse this building, which was named “The Floats” which he also used as his studio. The building was constructed in 1900 as a shop to build ships. He purchased the building, preserving it for generations to come. After his death, the boathouse and studio were converted into the Kennebunkport Maritime Museum. The building appears to now be a private residence, perched above the harbor. How charming!
Oliver Walker House // c.1809
The Oliver Walker House in Kennebunkport Village is one of the better examples that shows how overlapping architectural styles can work really well on an old house (when done right)! The original house was constructed around 1809 for Oliver Walker (1788-1851), a sea captain who later accepted the call and became a deacon for the South Congregational Church in Kennebunkport. Walker died in 1851 and the Federal style property was inherited by his only surviving child, daughter Susan, who had married Portland native, Captain John Lowell Little. Under their ownership, the traditionally designed Federal house was modernized with fashionable Italianate style modifications of the decorative brackets and an enclosed round arched window in the side gable. A later Colonial Revival projecting vestibule adds to the complex, yet pleasing design. I have a feeling the interiors of this house are just as spectacular as the exterior.
Samuel’s Stairs // 1810
Houses with unique names are always the most fun to research and post! This stately Federal style mansion in Kennebunkport was built in 1810 for Samuel Lewis (1777-1857), a cabinetmaker and carpenter in town. Lewis also worked as an undertaker and made glass-top coffins from 1801, until his death. It is estimated that Mr. Lewis made 2,500 coffins during his career – including his own. Samuel was a quirky character and built his home as a large addition to a 1762 home, which possibly remains today as an ell. The 1810 house with original transom and sidelights at the entrance was two stories as built which contained a spiral staircase that ended on the second floor at a skylight. Thus, the house became known locally as “Samuel’s Stairs.” A later owner added the third floor, but maintained the Federal proportions. SWOON!
Lord-Gould House // 1799
Believe it or not, this stunning Federal mansion in Kennebunkport was a marriage present! When Phebe Walker married Nathaniel Lord in 1797, Phebe’s father, Daniel had this home built for the new couple. Phebe and Nathaniel had a total of nine children before Mr. Lord died in 1815 at 38 years old. Before his death, the wealthy couple used part of their property to erect a larger home, which is now known as the Nathaniel Lord Mansion. The couple sold the property, and it was owned for some time by Captain Alden B. Day, who passed it down to his daughter Nellie and her husband, William Gould. The property remained in the Day-Gould family until 2017. The house is very well-preserved and looks much like it would have appeared when built in 1799 besides the later entry added in the mid-19th century.
Benjamin Coes House – “Tory Chimneys” // c.1785
One of the hidden architectural gems of Kennebunkport is this Revolutionary-era house with some serious proportions. The house was built around 1785 by Benjamin Coes, a sailmaker from Marblehead, who settled in the burgeoning Kennebunkport in search of new work and opportunities. He married Sarah Durrell and the couple erected the seventh house in town, which is part of this property. For his work, Mr. Coes used the first two floors as his residence and the third floor was used as a sail loft, with an exterior staircase. A young boy, Joseph Brooks, would work in the loft and he would go on to marry Benjamin’s daughter, Sarah. The couple inherited the family house and retired here. The property was sold out of the Coes-Brooks Family when Maine State Historian, Henry Sweetser Burrage and his wife Ernestine purchased this house in 1917, which would be used as a guest house. The couple and lived in the house across the street. Ernestine Burrage, who was Chairperson of the Kennebunkport Chapter of the Red Cross, allowed the ladies of her chapter to gather there three times a week to roll bandages for the soldiers injured in battles overseas. It became the headquarters for the Kennebunkport Red Cross. It was likely Ernestine who had the chimneys painted white, which resembled the old Tory Chimneys in Revolutionary-era New England; where, when painted white, they served as a quiet signal which indicated that a home’s residents were loyal subjects of the British Crown.