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August 2010

August 31, 2010

First a Wine Nook, Now A Book Nook! Always A Little More Nooky at The Captain Lord Mansion!

2010 Garden Pictures 020    What happens when your wife tells you that you have cluttered up the guest rooms with too many books placed on shelves and mantels?  The short answer is you have the housekeeping staff remove as much of the clutter as possible.  The question I had was "Where do we put books that will be convenient for the guests?"  Well, we had a useless etagere (a stand with a series of open shelves for small objects, bric-a-brac, etc) on the third floor which was located in the hallway.  It was neat looking, but fragile; it only could handle a few dust collecting decorative items.  Therefore, by removing that etagere and placing a tall bookcase there, we created a lending library "Book Nook".  Feel free to borrow books from our new library or leave ones that you may have finished reading while on vacation.  There is no charge to take a book; enjoy!

Wine Nook 001 Also, please remember that we have a nice offering of wines and champagne available for purchase from our "Wine Nook".  We give you the works; attractive wine glasses, corkscrews, marble coolers for white wine and what we believe is a good selection of fairly priced wines to enjoy while you are with us.  So, pick out a bottle and settle into one of our very comfortable lawn chairs and relax in the shade of our huge chestnut trees.  Bev and I enjoy sitting by the waterfall listening to the soothing sounds of the water gurgling over the rocks.  We also enjoy being on the garden swing for a few romantic moments of rest before charging on to the rest of a day's activities.  This really is a nice place to visit!

Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield 

August 24, 2010

Kennebunkport Residents Recently Honored Bush 41 With "An Anchor to Windward"!

From comes this definition of "An Anchor to Windward"; "During a storm, if a ship is being blown toward a hazard, the crew can drop the anchors on the windward side of the ship (the side facing the wind) in order to stop the ship from running aground or wrecking. Such an "anchor to windward" is a final effort, when the hope of forward progress has been abandoned, and danger or disaster is at hand."

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Kennebunkport has always been "an anchor to windward" for President George H. W. Bush.  It is a place where he has come each summer to refresh, relax, unwind and to find friends.  His family has owned "Walker's Point" since the early 1900's.  He came here as a child, as a college man and lastly, he brought his family each summer for vacations. Now he and Barbara entertain grandchildren here.  It certainly has been and continues to be a refuge from the storms he has faced in his many years of public service.  We at the Captain Lord Mansion are proud of his service to our country and our community.

Last September a group of local citizens honored President Bush by purchasing and dedicating a real anchor memorial which is located on the edge of Ocean Ave. directly opposite the Bush family compound.  It is from a World War II era ship and is a fitting memorial for a man most folks in the Kennebunks call a friend.  Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

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August 17, 2010

What is "The Kennebunkport River Green" and Who Owns It?

Dp_rivergreen The "River Green" sits directly in front of the Captain Lord Mansion and stretches between Pleasant Street and Ocean Avenue.  Today, the sloping lawn is well manicured and is home to various summer events such as art shows, craft fairs and band concerts.  There is quite an interesting story of how the green came to be preserved as an open space for the benefit of tourists and townspeople alike!

Originally, in the 1800's there were 3 houses on the land.  Charles P. Clark was the owner of the Lord Mansion at the turn of the century (1899-1900) and he had the houses removed so that there was an unobstructed view of the Kennebunk River.  Charles was the grandson of Nathaniel Lord, builder of the Mansion.  He was also president of the New York - New Haven railroad and quite a wealthy individual.  His purchase of the land and his removal of the houses created an open space that continues to be enjoyed by many today.

The Lord Mansion, including the green, remained in the Lord family for 7 generations until 1972 when it was sold out of the family to a James Throumoulos.  That sale generated awareness amongst some townspeople that the green might be in jeopardy of being developed; thus it was the catalyst for the formation of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.  They raised sufficient money to purchase the green from Jim and thereby preserve it. The stone memorial shown in the foreground of this photograph celebrates the preservation of the green by the Trust.  As of today, the Trust has received as donations or purchased a tremendous amount of land throughout Kennebunkport that otherwise might have seen unwise development.  We are grateful for this organization and its foresight to preserve parts of our town for the enjoyment of future generations.

The first Robert Dennis photo catches the "Village Green" in early May before the leaves totally obscure the Captain Lord Mansion.  The second Dennis photo shows the green with a coat of winter white.DSC_4069_1

Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

August 10, 2010

We Remember: Excerpts From The 20th Anniversary Captain Lord Mansion "Captain's Log", Spring 1998

2010 Garden Pictures 008 Recently we came across an old Captain Lord Mansion newsletter dated "Spring 1998".  We called these newsletters "The Captain's Log" and  mailed them to our quite extensive guest mailing list.  However, with the advent of the computer and emails, we discontinued direct mail newsletters about the time this 1998 newsletter was published. 

It was fascinating for us to reminisce about the renovations we made during the winter of 1997.  Bev and I often try to remember exact dates when we made certain changes to the inn; these old newsletters certainly provide us clear dates on which we made additions, alterations and renovations.  Let me quote: "Winter renovations - our guiding principles.  Your comfort, safety and enjoyment of the inn have always been guiding factors for us when considering improvements and/or changes we might make to the inn."  That principle has never changed and has motivated our thinking and actions for the past 32 years. 

That winter we renovated the baths in Regulator, Harvest, Union and Lincoln.  Also, we added the double jacuzzi-style tub to Union's bath and enlarged the shower area in LIncoln, as well as adding heated marble/tile floors to all four rooms. The oversize jetted tubs for Regulator and Harvest would come later!  Additionally, that winter we freshened the kitchen with new wallpaper and painted the woodwork.  In the spring of 1997 we had added the "Memory Garden" and that fall we added the second section of heated walkway leading to the guest entrance.  The fruition of our increased attention to our gardens came in the summer of 1998.  Bev has continued to improve our gardens every year since.  For example, the beautiful waterfall feature was added three year ago, we added new sculptures of the children and the dogs over the past several years and finally added new granite stone walls at the parking lot entrance this spring.

Bev and I believe the exterior of the inn is really like another guest room because in the summer and fall the guests use the grounds as much as they do their rooms.  We hope those of you visiting this summer and fall will find the gardens a beautiful, comfortable and restful place to relax and unwind.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

August 03, 2010

Wow! The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor are Superb!

Although we have been very busy maintaining the gardens at the Captain Lord Mansion and the Captain's Garden House, we took time last weekend to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens with our daughter and grandson.  We traveled early in the day and missed most of the traffic going north.  The weather was sunny and warm, with hardly a cloud in the sky.

Coastal Gardens 1 At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which are located in Boothbay, we discovered a terrific children's garden area that welcomed touching and doing.  There were rock fountains, a waterfall, a grass and stone maze, a pond with frogs and tadpoles, a tree house with a rope bridge and also there was a bear cave that the children could climb around in and on!  Additionally, kids could pump water from a handpump into watering cans and water the various flowers and plants in that garden area.  Our grandson did it all!


Coastal Gardens 2 Also, there were stunning meditation areas, many beautiful sculptures, various ornamental gardens including a large rhododendron garden which would be beautiful to visit in the spring when the plants are in full bloom.   Miles of trails allowed us to experience both waterfront and woodlands that really are quintessentially Maine.  There was even a "fairyland" wooded area where you could build your own "fairy house".  It was delightful to see the many different houses that almost covered the woodland floor.  Of course, we added two structures to the forest!

For lunch, we found the seasonal Kitchen Garden Café offered delightful – and delicious – selections.  We had chicken salad and fresh field greens with a balsamic dressing.

If you have an interest in gardening or gardens,  we highly recommend you make a side trip to Boothbay to visit this attraction.  Not only do we have tickets, but also we can give you explicit driving directions.  Just stop by the office and iquire about the tickets.

These pictures are courtesy of Robert Mitchell who has many photographs linked to the Gardens website.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield


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