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Sunday, February 25, 2007 

Coming to Kennebunkport? Bring Your Brownie

Photo by Robert Dennis
There are many wonderful "camera worthy" sites in and around Kennebunkport. Popular subjects include the rocky coastline, our wonderful lighthouses, Walker's Point and, of course, The Wedding Cake House.

The Wedding Cake House is located a short drive from The Maine Stay Inn. It sits directly on Route 35 and as you drive along, it is hard to miss. You'll often see one or two buses pulled over, its occupants spread out on both sides of the street with cameras clicking. You will have to slow for these pedestrians, so why not pull over and take a picture or two for yourself. If you don't bring back a picture no one will believe your description.

Built in 1825, by shipbuilder George Washington Bourne, this brick Federal-style home didn't start receiving its "icing" until 1852. Bourne was inspired by Milan's Gothic Cathedral. Using only hand tools, Bourne completed the decorations shortly before his death in 1856.

The romantic legend of this architectural marvel actually began many years later. A clever Kennebunk businessman published a postcard and named the house The Wedding Cake House. From there the legend began, at first about a recently married sea captain. He was said to have spent many a lonely night at sea, carving the intricate decorations as a way to cope with the long separations from his new bride.

The story got more and more romantic through the years.

The Wedding Cake House is privately owned and unavailable for tours of any kind. The current owners opened it for the first time ever for several months following Hurricane Katrina. They took a small donation from the many thousands that took advantage of the opportunity and donated all proceeds to the Hurricane relief efforts.

Don't miss seeing this amazing building and thank your lucky stars that you don't have to paint it.


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