Edwin Packard Cottage // 1899

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.

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.

The Dome Home // 2003

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to stay at one of the most unique Airbnb’s in New England, the Dome Home in idyllic Kennebunkport, Maine! The house itself was hand-built in 2003 by trained architect and sculptor Daphne Pulsifer with her husband Daniel Bates, on 43-acres of forest just miles from the iconic Maine beaches. Inside, the house features numerous custom touches designed and built by the original owners, including light fixtures, floor tiling, hand-built oak doors, wall tiling, woodwork — much of it claimed from the property itself. The Dome Home is completely sustainable with solar panels providing all the power needed, making the property completely off-the-grid. The original owners sold the property in 2022 to the new owners who have lovingly updated the spaces, keeping the charm and unique qualities of the Dome. If you are ever in Kennebunkport and are looking for a unique, off-the-grid stay with all of the amenities of modern living, definitely check out the Dome!

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.

John Bourne House // c.1800

John Bourne (1759-1837) was born in Wells, Maine as the son of Benjamin Bourne. When the American Revolution hit a peak, when he was only sixteen years of age, John enlisted in the service of the country, and marched in company of Capt. Thomas Sawyer, to Lake Champlain. After the war, he learned the trade of shipbuilding and established himself in Kennebunkport, at the height of the village’s manufacturing. John Bourne built ships for a wealthy ship-owner and became successful himself. Bourne was married three times. His first wife, Abigail Hubbard (m.1783) died at just 24 years old after giving him three children. He remarried Sally Kimball a year later, who died in her twenties at just 28, she birthed one son for him in that time. His third wife, Elizabeth, would outlive John, and they had five children together. After his marriage with Elizabeth, John likely had this home built, possibly from his own hands. The Federal style home stands out for the unique entry with blind fan and modified Palladian window framed by engaged pilasters.

Captain Nathaniel Ward – Abbott Graves House // 1812

In about 1812, Captain Nathaniel Ward Jr. of Kennebunkport purchased this home in the village from housewright and builder Samuel Davis. The Federal style house is five bays with a central entrance with pedimented fan over the door. Two end chimneys would heat the home in the winter months when Nathaniel was out at sea and his wife, Sarah, would be maintaining the home and caring for their six children. The couple’s eldest son Charles Ward, served as the second American Consul to Zanzibar in Africa. In his role, Ward bickered continuously with the Sultan, whose word of law changed with the wind and he eventually left his position and settled in Salem, Massachusetts. This house was later owned by Abbott Fuller Graves (1859–1936), a renowned painter before he built a Prairie Style house in Kennebunkport in 1905.

Benjamin Mason Store // c.1815

Across from the Luques Store in Dock Square in Kennebunkport, another 19th century commercial building serves as a visual anchor to the vibrant village, this is the Benjamin Mason Store. Built in the 1810s, the Federal style commercial block was originally owned by businessman Benjamin Mason (1777-1855) who built a house in 1812 just nextdoor (which has since been converted to commercial use). The store is three-stories with a cupola at the roof. Later porches were added as the village prospered.

Luques Store // 1827

In 1827, a young Andrew Luques (1791-1873) built a store in the village of Kennebunkport, Maine where he sold dry goods, hardware, and fancy goods to the area’s citizens. As the village grew around him, the store grew and occupied the entire block near a drawbridge, which spanned the Kennebunk River to Harbor Village in adjacent Kennebunk. The business did well and the store was eventually inherited by Anthony Luques in the late 1850s. Anthony expanded the store, modernizing it and added a Mansard roof for an additional floor. Anthony continued operating the store until his death in 1890, when it was sold to a member of the Dennett Family. Around 1900, the building was occupied by a few businesses, with one taking advantage of the town’s recent desirability as a summer resort colony by selling bathing suits and hammocks. The building remains a visual and important anchor to the human-scaled and walkable village of Kennebunkport.

Bayberry Cove Cottage // 1915

Perched atop a seaside cliff on a neck jutting into the Atlantic ocean, this large summer cottage exhibits the rugged, yet enchanting character of the Maine coast. The house is part of the Cape Arundel Summer Colony and is one of the last built as part of the original period of development. The home was designed by Henry Paston Clark, a Boston architect who previously built a home on Cape Arundel and had summered there for years. His most notable design here is St. Ann’s Church, built for the summer residents of the area. The Bayberry Cove Cottage was built in 1915 for James Harrison and his wife and employed the use of cedar shingles, stone, and slate, to blend in with the rugged plot of land.