Throwback Thursday

Durrell’s Bridge

Kennebunkport and Kennebunk historians do not agree on the date Durrell’s Bridge was built. In his 1837, History of Kennebunkport, Charles Bradbury wrote that Durrell’s Bridge was built before 1751. Indeed, a 1751 entry in the first Arundel Town Book refers to Bartlett’s bridge as the upper bridge over the Kennebunk River implying that a lower bridge existed. Kennebunk Historians have all written that the bridge was built in 1764 or 1765. Bourne says that the first mention of the bridge in Kennebunk Records was in 1765 when Durrell’s Bridge Road was built to access “the bridge lately built.” Perhaps...

Olde Grist Mill

Places hold memories for the ages. If I show you this c.1965 picture of the Olde Grist Mill, a delicious Indian Pudding might spring to mind or maybe your first job waiting tables. You probably won’t reminisce about riding in a horse drawn wagon full of corn harvested from your family fields, on your way to the grist mill to have it ground into meal by miller Perkins, but your great-grandmother might have. Captain Thomas Perkins, Jr. and two of his sons built the Perkins Tidal Grist Mill to work on the outgoing tide in 1749. The eldest son, Eliphalet...

Picnic Rocks

The most beautiful stop for paddlers on the Kennebunk River is Picnic Rocks. It has been so for at least 150 years but a few times it came this close to being split up for development. Thank goodness, preservation-minded individuals stepped up just in time. Cape Arundel Cottagers made Picnic Rocks a popular canoeing destination starting in the 1870s. By the time The Kennebunk River Club had built a boathouse in 1890 their annual canoe races conducted at Picnic Rocks were the Club’s most popular annual activity. The property around Picnic Rocks belonged to two older local men, Henry Towne,...

The Oldest Commercial Building in Kennebunkport

Last week’s Throwback Thursday featured the c.1724 Thomas Perkins House, the oldest house in Kennebunkport Village. This week, the oldest commercial building still standing in the village is our focus. The Eliphalet Perkins wharf and store were built c.1775 for the West Indies trade. Perkins ships carried Arundel fish and lumber to the West Indies and returned with molasses for making rum. In the 1840s, Mrs. Jeffery ran a sailor’s boarding house upstairs in the store. Eliphalet Perkins III and his son Charles E. Perkins, who built the Nott House, owned the business when the Maine liquor law passed in...

The Oldest House in Town

Captain Thomas Perkins brought his family to Arundel from Greenland, NH in 1720. Within a few years, he owned about all the land along the Kennebunk River from Bass Cove and Walkers Point. That area includes all of Kennebunkport Village and Cape Arundel today. His eldest son, also named Captain Thomas Perkins, built the Oak Street saltbox featured in today’s story c. 1724. The oldest house standing in Kennebunkport is now just shy of 300 years old. It stood alone in the wilderness in 1724 still very vulnerable to attacks by the local Indian tribe who had fished the Kennebunk...

Derelict Vessels

Kennebunk River near the old Mitchell Garrison 1870s Unknown Our mystery vessel somehow managed to get herself in this precarious position in the mid-1870s, based on the vessel on the stocks at the nearby Titcomb & Thompson yard at far right. By 1891 when the bottom picture was taken, what remained of her hull was visible near the Mitchell Garrison, which would later be replaced by the Franciscan Monastery. What remains of her today in the mudflats can best be examined by kayak at low tide. Monastery and Ella Clifton Derelicts are slowly disappearing