Throwback Thursday

Hurricane Fire Extinguished: Dock Square Fires Recalled

Shortly after I posted my Throwback Thursday column last week, I read in a local Facebook Post that Hurricane Restaurant in Dock Square was on fire. My mind was immediately flooded with images of the two previous fires on that side of Dock Square that had caused so much damage. All but one of the commercial buildings on the north side of Dock Square were destroyed by fire in 1877. The anchor of the block had been the first Parker House Hotel and Restaurant built around 1870 by Swedish-born William C. Parker. It was described by the press as “a...

Government Wharf, Piers, and Boathouse Jetty on the Kennebunk River

The Kennebunk River was not originally suitable for shipbuilding or even navigation of merchant vessels, for that matter. A large ledge called Perch Rock obstructed the east side of channel. At low tide, only 10 inches of water passed over a sandbar across the mouth of the river. Shifting sands were liable to change the location and configuration of the channel during every storm. Local businessmen and the Federal Government made numerous improvements to navigation on the Kennebunk River that we take for granted today. In 1793, local merchants led by Tobias Lord, Oliver Keating, and Thatcher Goddard, invested $3,000...

Goose Rocks Beach Picture Donations Make All The Difference

The Kennebunkport Historical Society relies on the photographs you donate to illustrate and sometimes illuminate the history of the Kennebunks. The first photograph we are sharing today was donated to the Kennebunkport Historical Society by Orran D. Libby way back when Julian Howard was President of the society. It shows the first house ever built at the southwest end of Goose Rocks Beach where 175 Kings Highway now stands. In 1892, Daniel D. Libby and his father-in-law, Abel Dennett both of Biddeford, built the cottage mostly of lumber from the Dennett homestead in North Kennebunkport. Julian Howard was a teenager...