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The "Dime for Time" Campaign Returns to the Captain Lord Mansion and Kennbunkport for 2011! And, We Are Doubling It!

2011DIME_FINAL 
 
    Just by staying with us in 2011 you will be helping find a cure for cancer!

     Inn owners, Bev Davis and Rick Litchfield invite you to participate in their second annual Lois Ann Fincher Memorial  "Double Dime for Time” Campaign to benefit the American Cancer Society.

     For each guest stay from January 1 – October 31, 2011, we’ll pledge two dimes to benefit the American Cancer Society for breast cancer awareness and research programs.  But, we’ll make it even more rewarding!  If guests have stayed with us before, we’ll multiply the number of their visits by the double dimes!  With over 50% of our guests being repeats, the amount to be donated adds up!  In 2010 we raised $3,000 for cancer research.  We are hoping to double that amount in 2011.

     The 2010 campaign was created to honor Bev’s sister, Lois Ann Fincher who passed away in 2003 after a long and heroic battle with breast cancer.  We know that one of the most meaningful of Lois’ wishes was for time, time to see her children graduate from college and then to see them happily married.  Thankfully, God granted both those wishes.

     The 2011 campaign will again allow us at Captain Lord Mansion to make contributions to the Lois Ann Fincher Memorial “Double Dime for Time” Fund throughout the busy season of 2011.  Also, many of our 2010 guests made contributions to honor someone they knew who struggled with or currently is struggling with breast cancer.

     The “Double Dime for Time” Campaign will culminate on Sunday and Monday, November 20 and 21, 2011 when selected New England area breast cancer survivors will receive a complimentary two-night stay at the Inn.  Those wishing to be considered for or desiring to nominate someone for the complimentary stay at the inn should send us an email at innkeeper@captainlord.com during the month of September, 2011.  We shall only be accepting nominations for women from the six New England states.  The email should be no more than 500 words and should give us an idea of why that person should be chosen.

     Each woman selected to receive the complimentary two-night stay will receive a bag of goodies and will also be invited to be part of a noon reception where we shall present a check for the monies raised in 2011 to the Maine Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

    Also, we will accept any additional contribution for breast cancer research that you might wish to make.  Please make checks payable to the Lois Ann Fincher Memorial Cancer Fund. 

Your innkeepers, Bev Davis and Rick Litchfield

 

August 09, 2011

More Recent Interesting History Regarding the Captain Lord Mansion, A Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

DoorstopsDanas Wedding 189 
This is a happy picture of our daughter Dana and her husband Eric sharing their cake on their wedding day, eighth years ago, here at the Captain Lord Mansion.  Their small wedding ceremony was performed at the Kennebunkport Village Baptist Church, after which their reception was held in the Mansion Carriage House.  The wedding took place on Labor Day weekend, 2003 and God blessed us with perfect weather.  Bev's decorations in the Carriage House included multiple strings of miniature white lights stapled on the barn ceiling where they were covered by lace netting.  Also, Bev used the same small lights, more lace netting and lots of ribbons to frame the Carriage House windows.  Dana chose green and purple as her colors, so those colored ribbons and bows were used as accents throughout.  The effect was magical.  What had been a rather rustic and mundane interior of a barn was transformed into a really attractive reception area. The effect was enhanced by tables and chairs covered in white linen.  Also, Dana selected Calla lillies as her flowers; Dana's bouquet featured them and Bev found lovely Calla lilly vases for table decorations. There were about 75 family members and close friends in attendance at the wedding and reception.  The affair was ably catered by Mountaintop Caterers; their buffet was located under a modest tent set up beside the carriage house, so guests could gather their food and move directly to the seating in the barn.  Bev also set up a smoothie bar in front of the carriage house; that was a neat additional touch for the reception!  After the reception, the young couple enjoyed their wedding night in the Captain's Suite (Merchant) before heading out for a week exploring Nova Scotia in Bev's (then) new convertible (since traded in).  I was able to make reservations for them at several excellent inns throughout Nova Scotia, so they stayed in some memorable bed and breakfast establishments.  This Labor Day they are celebrating their 8th anniversary.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

DoorstopsDanas Wedding 166 
The  happy couple, Dana and Eric after their vows!

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Bev, Dana, Eric and Rick

DoorstopsDanas Wedding 177 

August 02, 2011

Special Events from the Past at the Captain Lord Mansion, a Kennebunkport Bed & Breakfast Inn

 Lg Treasured Memories
Painting called "Treasured Memories" by Dennnis Perrin

For Charles Clark and his family, summers in Maine were a time of joyous family gatherings and celebrations.  One such event is reported in the Saturday, July 16, 1887 edition of The Wave, another local newspaper of the period.  It tells us that “Mr. Charles P. Clark, President of the New York and New Haven Railroad arrives at his residence today to attend the wedding of his daughter which takes place Wednesday.” We also read that Mr. Clark arrived by his own private railway coach, while other prominent guests arrived later by chartered railway coaches. The Wednesday, July 20, 1887 edition of The Wave describes the wedding:  “Wedding bells ring joyously to a brilliant marriage.  Professor Hincks and Bessie Clark are made one in the presence of a distinguished company.  The event took place in the parlor of the old ’Lord Mansion’ which has been in the Clark family for generations.  Strange to relate this is the first marriage to be celebrated in the old home since 1834 when the bride’s grandmother (Susan Lord Clark, daughter of Nathaniel Lord) was wedded.  The house itself was decked out in imposing style in honor of the event.  Evergreens were intertwined around the iron-rods of the front yard fence, presenting a unique and beautiful spectacle, which was brightened by an arch of oak boughs over the door.”  We think it is interesting to note the use of evergreen and oak boughs for decorations for a summer wedding; yet, there is no mention of flowers or ribbon. One is left only to contemplate the natural beauty of the greenery used for this wedding. 

The "parlor" mentioned in the newspaper article is now the B&B's guest-room "Merchant".  We have been told it was called the "wedding, wake and baptism" room.  When we purchased the Captain Lord Mansion in 1978, that room still had its original 1812 wallpaper.  Since the paper was badly degraded, stained and literally falling off the walls, we had it removed and donated salvageable portions to the local historical society.  Framed remnants will be on diplay next summer at the Kennebunkport Historical Society's exhibition center named after a local artist, Henry Pasco and his sister Priscilla.

DoorstopsDanas Wedding 195 
Dana and Eric cut the wedding cake in the "Mansion's Carriage House".

Bev and I celebrated out daughter Dana's wedding reception at the Captain Lord Mansion on Aug 31st, 2003.  She and her new husband Eric Nielsen were married at the Village Baptist Church in Kennebunkport that day and were escorted back to the inn and the reception by horse and carriage. We had the reception  in the old "Mansion" barn and carriage house. That was the last time the carriage house was that clean and neat!  Thus, the "Mansion's" tradition of being a center for family celebrations continues!  I will write about Dana's wedding in the next blog!  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

July 26, 2011

Charles P. Clark's Final Renovations to the Captain Lord Mansion, a Kennebunkport Bed & Breakfast Inn

 CLM Old Staircase 
 
Old Staircase at the entrance to the Bed & Breakfast Office

We believe it is fortunate that Charles decided to restrict his major alterations to the rear portion of the "mansion" and pretty much leave the front section alone, because much of the original 1812 architectural details still exist in that section of the building.  For example, there is the sweeping, suspended elliptical staircase at the front entrance, a 4 storey spiral cupola staircase which graces the center of the building, as well as the towering arches down the center hall,  hand-grained, painted doors with original "box locks" and so much more for visitors to marvel at and to enjoy today.  Also, there is a newly-exposed, narrow “servants staircase” that is by the entrance to the present-day inn office. The old staircase retains all the original 1812 architectural details such as narrow and steep stairs and little wall cubbies.

The April 20, 1900 edition of the Eastern Star reported that “Mr. Charles P. Clark is having a large porch built at the entrance to his mansion.”  That “large porch” actually is the Greek Revival style portico (canopy with pillars) now at the front of the inn.  Once again, the photographic record tells us that it replaced an arbor that originally graced the front door of the building.  This was the last renovation, which Charles would do; he died March 21, 1901 at Nice, France.

More to come about a special summer event held at the Captain Lord Mansion during Charles's ownership.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

CLM Hand Grained Door 
Original hand-grained door in 1812 section of the Mansion

July 19, 2011

Did You Know That the Last Major Structural Renovation of Captain Lord Mansion, a Kennebunkport Bed & Breakfast Inn was completed by Charles P. Clark, Nathaniel's Grandson-in-Law?

1898 Photo of the CLM 
The Captain Lord Mansion before Charles Clark's 1898 Renovations

It appears that Daniel moved from Kennebunkport to Malden, Massachusetts sometime between 1840 and 1850.  Then, his sister Susan (Lord) and her husband Peter Clark became owners of record and resided in the home for some period of time in the mid 1800’s. As far as can be discerned from diaries available to me, they made no structural changes to the building.  However, it was their son Charles P. Clark who would make the most dramatic and final changes to the “Mansion”.

Charles P. Clark was a wealthy industrialist and railroad magnate.  As president of the New York - New Haven Railroad, he could afford two homes.  His primary residence in the late 1800's was a large Victorian brownstone at 222 Orange Ave., New Haven, CT.  However, Charles inherited the “Mansion” from his parents, Susan (Lord) and Peter Clark.  As was the fashion in upscale resorts for the wealthy in such places as Newport RI, Bar Harbor, and Kennebunkport, Charles occupied his “summer cottage” for only eight to ten weeks each season.

In 1898 Charles funded extensive renovations to the “Mansion”.  The Friday, April 15, 1898 edition of the Eastern Star, a local newspaper of the period, reported that “Mr. Charles P. Clark is to remove the ell of his mansion and replace it by the addition of three stories high and costing more than $5,000. The large barn is in the process of removal to another part of his lot.”  Once again the photographic record circa 1880 helps to visualize the appearance of the “Mansion” prior to Charles’ renovations.  The whole rear portion of the inn exists almost exactly as the renovations from this period left it.

New research indicates that Charles Clark, as did his grandfather Nathaniel Lord, chose a renowned architect to supervise construction on the “Mansion”. William Ralph Emerson was involved with the detailed architectural plans provided by his firm for the 1898 renovations.  The original 1898 renovation blueprints are preserved at the Kennebunkport Historical Society.

Mr. Clark’s renovations resulted in significant interior changes; primarily to the east or rear part of the building. The front half of the structure received limited alterations.  The “Mansion’s” present main staircase is an 1898 addition.  The inn’s “Gathering Room” was originally the kitchen.  Charles’ remodeling resulted in the room’s 18’ concave bay window, curved window seat, high Victorian wainscoting, “target” door moldings and the heavy beamed ceiling.  Additionally, today’s kitchen with its large black coal stove was also part of the remodeling.  The rear half of the third floor of the building also dates from 1898 changes.  As seen in the above picture from the period, the back half of the “Mansion” was originally only 2 stories high, dating from Daniel’s last renovations in the mid 1800s.

There are some interesting additional notes about the 1898 renovations.  I'll cover those in the next blog.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield, innkeeper

July 12, 2011

Did You Know That the Captain Lord Mansion, a Kennebunkport Bed & Breakfast Inn was Remodelled in the Early 1800's by Daniel W. Lord, Nathaniel's Oldest Son?

1898 Photo of the CLM 
The Captain Lord Mansion circa mid to late 1800's

After Nathaniel's death in 1815, The Mansion continued to be his wife Phebe Lord’s home throughout her life.  Widowed at an early age, she never remarried.  Did the burden of raising their nine children keep her focused away from romantic inclinations?  One might think so!  Her oldest son Daniel W. Lord became her closest companion and protector.  Family diaries record Phebe making frequent trips to and from Boston with Daniel and his wife Lydia during the mid 1800’s.

Daniel’s own written records instructs us that he was active in the ownership and management of the “Mansion” from a time shortly after his father’s death until the 1850’s.  In a journal entry dated 1824, Daniel records that he made “an addition to the ‘Mansion’ commencing August 23rd, and ending Oct 2nd.”  No other written details reveal to us the exact nature of the addition.  However, photographs from that time show two, 2-story ells at the rear (east side) of the house.  Perhaps, Daniel added one or both of the ells.  In a diary entry from 1844, Daniel records that he “raised and put a new roof on the south 2 story part of the ‘Mansion’ and painted the roof with two coats of fish oil and varnish, half each with 3/4 yellow and 1/4 Spanish brown mixed together.  This included new shingles over the roof and the south door.”  Again a photograph from the 1850’s shows one 2-story ell at the rear east-facing side of the building. I have found detailed records of maintenance and additional changes for which both Daniel and Nathaniel were responsible.  However, Daniel was not the last of Nathaniel’s descendents to make extensive changes to the “Mansion”.  I'll cover that in my next Blog.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

July 05, 2011

Did You Know That the Captain Lord Mansion, A Kennebunkport Bed & Breakfast Inn was built 197 Years Ago in 1814?

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The Captain Lord Mansion: The beginning of the story!

Fear gripped the entire New England coastline during the War of 1812. The British had marched on Washington and loosened their anger at having lost the previous war with the colonies, the American Revolution!  The angry British soldiers looted and burned.  Additionally, there was a British blockade of all commerce, plus their very meaningful threats to burn any coastal towns that continued to engage in commerce.  Enterprising citizens in seaports from Virginia to Massachusetts believed their cities and towns could be next to bear the wrath of English man-o-wars.  It was in this atmosphere of restricted mercantile activity that Nathaniel Lord, a wealthy Kennebunkport merchant and shipbuilder, decided to build his beautiful “Mansion”.  After all, what was he to do with his idle shipwrights?

Twenty-one year-old Nathaniel Lord married sixteen-year-old Phebe Walker on July 2, 1797.  Phebe was the daughter of another wealthy citizen, Daniel Walker.  Daniel gave the young couple a dowry of land that encompasses the area between Pleasant, Pearl and Maine Streets, where they built their first home in 1799.  Still standing, it is a white clapboard Colonial home of modest proportions.  That parcel of land also provided enough space where Nathaniel & Phebe would build their “Mansion” thirteen years later.

York County court papers provide documentation that distinguished Maine house-wright, Thomas Eaton was involved with the design and construction of the Captain Lord Mansion.  Nathaniel Lord’s estate papers include among the administrator’s expenses, several payments to a “T. Eaton. Today, Thomas Eaton is widely recognized for the excellence of his Federal buildings which include Kennebunk landmarks such as the Taylor Barry House, the Unitarian Church and Wallingford Hall.  Unfortunately, Nathaniel died of influenza at the age of 39 in 1815 and really didn't live long enough to enjoy his "mansion".

As I researched new information for this history, I have encountered new evidence and better documentation that the Captain Lord Mansion was actually built in 1814, not 1812.  I guess we'll have to postpone the celebration for a couple of years.  However, I'll continue my blogs this year with the history and it will become the basis of a booklet we'll publish in 1814. This blog covers the beginning of the facinating history for the Captain Lord Mansion.  I'll continue the saga in future posts and on our Facebook account.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

June 28, 2011

Did You Know that The Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunkport Has Beautiful Grounds for Walking?

Franciscan guest house 
This is an aerial view of the Franciscan Monastery grounds.  From the spring through the fall, there are some easy walking trails that border the Kennebunk River and provide nice scenic views of the river.  Also, the sloping lawns and gardens around the monastery building itself are quite nice for ambling and relaxing.  The monastery is open for services and they have a small gift shop too.  Additionally, the grounds feature several places to sit and meditate.  Here is a picture of the grotto where Kennebunkport's Christmas Prelude's Candle-light Caroling Service is held.  Imagine 2,000 to 3,000 people with lighted candles standing crowded together (for warmth) singing carols.  Many years we have snow on the ground and it is magical!  When you visit the Captain Lord Mansion, we suggest that you borrow bicycles from us and bike over to the Monastery.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Grotto at Monastery 

June 21, 2011

Have You Seen The Gardens at The Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport?

Johnny Jump-ups 

Bev has been planting, weeding and mulching the gardens at the Captain Lord Mansion for several weeks.  The recent rain has been a blessing; it allowed the newly palnted flowers to take root and get really settled into the flower beds.  Everything is looking colorful in the inn's many flower beds which border the Mansion's lush green lawns.  Last Fall we hired "Chem Lawn" to treat our grass and for the first time ever we have a thick green lawn with no weeds or witch grass.  Wow!  Our guests really appreciate the inn's many comfortable Adirondak lawn chairs which are scattered throughout the lawn areas.  Also, the lawn swing, the new hammock, the Memory Garden Fountain and the new Waterfall Fountain each provide a place for respite and retreat.  We look forward to our summer Saturday night Garden Parties which will start 4th of July weekend.  Hope to see you all soon.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield 

Garden Fountain 

June 14, 2011

Have you seen the "Wedding Cake" House in Kennebunk on the Way to Kennebunkport?

Wedding cake house 
The Wedding Cake House located in Kennebunk, Maine 

The "Wedding Cake" name was applied to the house due to its wedding cake-like appearance. Legend developed that the busy Bourne, a sea captain, had done the carpentry work to atone for not having taken his bride, Jane, on a proper honeymoon. This was not the case.

Called the "most photographed house in the state" of Maine, the Wedding Cake House, known formally as the George W. Bourne House, is an historic house located at 104 Summer Street in Kennebunk, Maine. The home was built in 1825 by shipbuilder George W. Bourne (1801–1856), who later built a frame barn which he connected to the main house with a carriage house. In 1852, the barn caught fire and the carriage house was demolished to keep the fire from spreading to the house. Bourne, who during a European tour had been impressed by the Gothic beauty of the cathedral at Milan, rebuilt the carriage house and barn in what later came to be known as Carpenter Gothicstyle. Using hand tools, he crafted five buttresses with pinnacles on top of each. Then in order to tie the new structures in with the existing house, he added six buttresses with pinnacles to the house and then joined them together with intricate woodwork. His only help in doing this was Thomas Durrell, an apprentice ship's carpenter. Bourne spent the rest of his life adding to these embellishments.

So this is the true story of the Wedding Cake House.  When you visit the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport, we can direct you to view this magnificent architectural gem.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

May 24, 2011

Have You Had Your Picture taken with the Captain Lord Mansion's Dogs, Nate and Toby?

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Nate and Toby wait patiently on the side lawn of the Captain Lord Mansion to warmly greet you upon your arrival at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast inn.  We thought it would be a neat idea to have guests this season take their picture with these two fellows and then we'll put the pictures on our company "Facebook" Page.  We like the idea that these sentinels don't require feeding or cleaning up after!  They are an undetermined breed and somewhat fierce looking; however, looks are deceiving because they are gentle as lambs.  None-the-less, they do stand guard over the inn's famous "Memory Garden" making sure that no one moves their engraved stones!  We look forward to receiving (or taking) your picture, your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

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