Early Kennebunks photographer, Aaron B. Houdlette

Aaron B. Houdlette, He was born in Dresden Me and took lots of early photographs of Richmond Me, across the Kennebec River. He came to Kennebunkport in the early 1880s, after being a professional photographer in Boston for 20 years. Houdlette was still working summers in Kennebunkport until two years before he died in 1909 at the age of 78. We have lots of his photographs at the Historical Society.

This first Houdlette picture was taken from Lord’s Point looking toward Boothby’s Beach in Kennebunk. That’s the Ridgewood Hotel standing proud in the background. It burned to the ground in 1898, the same year that the Ocean Bluff Hotel at Cape Arundel burned.

The Governor Robie went ashore at Timber Island on March 6, 1889. Aaron B. Houdlette was there to capture the moment.

Houdlette liked photographing ships under construction, as well. The Louis V. Place was built at the George Christenson Yard above the bridge in Lower Village where Herbie Baum would later build boats.

Another Houdlette photograph of the Louis V. Place shows the hull of the schooner just after launching on August 27, 1890.

Houdlette’s business got a boost when the local summer newspapers started printing photographs in the 1890s. The midsummer editions of The Wave are full of Housdlette’s iconic panoramic shots.

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