Take a self-guided tour of this town to discover a New England house inspired by the grandeur of Milan’s cathedral, with many more attractions too.
Stroll around Kennebunk to discover buildings with interesting histories. The entire town participates in Museum in the Streets providing written descriptions at points of interest. Admire the architecture of fine old buildings that reveal the wealth in this area when shipbuilding was a major industry.
The Wedding Cake House adorns one of Kennebunk’s streets. Built in the 1850s, its wooden trim was designed and hand carved by the builder and a carpenter using the Italian cathedral’s façade as a blueprint. Learn more about how the building got its name in the early 1900s when a sea captain built the house for his bride.
Look for the Titcomb Garrison, possibly Kennebunk’s oldest house, built about 1740. It was designed to provide protection from Native American attacks. Discover more of Kennebunk’s history by visiting the Brick Store Museum that was originally separate businesses before being joined together.
Walk along the banks of the Mousam River flowing through town. It was the center of shipbuilding in the mid 1700s. More than 20 ocean vessels were built in this area until the industry moved downstream to Kennebunkport when the ships became too large for the river.
Look for a depression on the western bank of Kennebunk River. Known as The Landing, it is one of the last visible remnants of this shipbuilding industry that continued until 1918.
Spend a day at a Kennebunk beach. Gooch’s Beach is a crescent of white sand popular for sunbathing and aquatic sports. Try Mother’s Beach, which is smaller and attracts families with its playground. Middle Beach lies between these two and has black pebbles that hold the sun’s heat, which make even cooler days beach days.
Accessing this thriving industrial area in the shipbuilding days meant a railway was necessary. Visit the Boston & Maine R.R. Depot, which is now a commercial building, but trains still travel past the former station.
A trip to Kennebunk is a preserved glimpse into America’s past.