Wedding Cake House, Kennebunk, ca. 1900

Contributed by Thomas S. Bourne through Brick Store Museum

Wedding Cake House, Kennebunk, ca. 1900

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In 1826, George and Jane Bourne built their fine Federal brick home at 104 Summer Street, just up the bank from the Bourne & Kingsbury shipyard, and in front of George's childhood home. A fire in 1852 destroyed the original barn, and the home itself was only saved from the fire by tearing down the connecting shed.

Bourne, a well-traveled ship owner, had seen the Milan Cathedral in Italy many times, and was inspired by the ornate carvings that decorated the structure. He rebuilt the barn and added a wing with gothic-style ornamentation, or "gingerbread" trim. His original Federal-style house did not match the new look, so he continued adding ornamentation to the main house, meticulously carving the pieces by hand, with help from one of his ship carpenters that worked in his shipyard. Bourne died not long after he completed the house.

Bourne home on Summer Street is better known as "The Wedding Cake House." It is among the most-photographed homes in all of Maine. A modern legend from the early 1900s has it that the Wedding Cake House was built to compensate a bride deprived of her wedding cake by her seafaring husband-a compelling story, but not true.

As of 2016, the home is a private residence not open to the general public.

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About This Item

  • Title: Wedding Cake House, Kennebunk, ca. 1900
  • Creator: Thomas S. Bourne
  • Creation Date: circa 1900
  • Subject Date: circa 1900
  • Location: Wedding Cake House, Kennebunk, York County, ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 14 cm x 20 cm
  • Local Code: 1997.13.1
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Brick Store Museum
117 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043
(207) 985-4802

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