A lovely new shop, La La Luna has opened in the very old building on Ocean Ave at the edge of Arundel Wharf. It got me thinking about how much this town has changed since Daniel Walker built it before 1785.
Daniel inherited the whole area from his father Gideon Walker in 1778. He built a mansion on Pearl St., a wharf on the Kennebunk River, and a yellow store on the wharf .
In 1799, Daniel Walker sold his “old mansion” on Pearl St to his brother in law, Benjamin Stone and moved into the Cup and Saucer House on Maine St. He still owned the wharf and store. He also gave each of his children a sizable lot upon which to build their homes. In 1812, Daniel Walker transferred a share of his yellow store and wharf to his son in law Nathaniel Lord of Lord Mansion fame.
Daniel died in 1819. The wharf and half the yellow store were sold to Eliphalet Perkins and Benjamin Stone. In 1835, the local granite quarrying operation on Beachwood Rd represented by Barnabas Palmer began using the wharf to load granite onto ships for delivery. When the quarry company went under, Nathaniel’s son Daniel Walker Lord assumed ownership of the whole store and wharf.
The land downriver from Walker’s Wharf was used by DW Lord as a shipyard. Ships blacksmiths named Rounds made irons for his vessels in the yellow store for three generations. In the 1870s, the yellow store was occupied by Wildes and Talpey Spar Shop. Cleveland Trott and his brother began making small boats there once the new tourist industry demanded them in the 1870s.
A.G. Agnew owned the wharf in the 1880s. A blacksmith named Gregoire shoed horses and oxen there for Ham Littlefield’s Livery stable next door. Photographer Aaron B. Houdlette set up shop at the yellow store during the summers. Blacksmiths John Ford, Robert Benson, and Earnest Benson followed. The Leatheroid Factory in Kennebunk later bought the Wharf.
Bernie Warner opened his first shipyard at the shop in 1910 and continued there until 1932 when the Kennebunk River Channel was dredged, and the mud was used to fill in the water behind Bernie Warner’s building. He moved over to the next wharf upriver and continued building boats there.
Since then, various shops have occupied the old shop that is no longer yellow. The far more modern Arundel Wharf Restaurant now sits on part of the wharf. Bernie Warner’s grandson, Richard Woodman, also a boatbuilder, sails his beautiful schooner Eleanor from Arundel Wharf.