Kennebunk Things to Do: Uncover Homes of Famous Sea Captains

If you're interested in history and architecture, one of the places that you must visit in Maine is the town of Kennebunk. Things to do for tourists in Kennebunk must include a walk down Summer Street, which is one of the most impressive historic districts in Maine. Some of the splendid buildings that can be found on this street used to be the homes of famous sea captains, and they provide a great insight into the success of the town's shipbuilding industry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. BBOnline recommends that you visit these sea captain homes in Kennebunk.

Taylor-Barry House
24 Summer Street
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
(207) 985-4802

The Taylor-Barry House is one of the most historically significant buildings in Kennebunk. Things to do for those interested in architecture should include a visit to this splendid structure, because it's a great example of the architectural excellence that was prevalent during the boom years of Kennebunk's shipping industry. This Federal-style house was designed by famous architect Thomas Eaton, and it was constructed in 1803 for successful merchant William Taylor. It's a 4-sided structure with 5 bays and a hipped roof, and it features wonderfully carved woodwork. The house was sold to Charles White Williams in 1818, and it was later acquired by Sarah Perkins, who was the wife of famous sea captain Charles Edward Barry. The house became a part of the Brick Store Museum in 1969, and it was opened for public viewing. In 2002, it became a private residence again.

Summer Street is located in the southeastern part of Kennebunk. If you are driving there from your Kennebunk Bed and Breakfast, you should travel east on Maine 9A. This road will take you directly into Summer Street. 

Captain Nathaniel Lord Thompson House
23 Summer Street
Kennebunk, Maine 04043

The Captain Nathaniel Lord Thompson House is widely regarded as the most magnificent Greek Revival building in Kennebunk. Things to do for tourists in Kennebunk must include a visit to this beautiful structure, because it's the former residence of one of the town's most famous sea captains. The house was designed and constructed in 1842 by Beniah Littlefield for Nathaniel Lord Thompson. It was styled to resemble a temple, and it features a Doric-style portico on each side. The western section of the property was sold to Nathaniel's brother Charles Thompson, who was also a sea captain. Charles also built a Greek Revival house, but it was more modest compared to Nathaniel's.

Burleigh Smart House
21 Summer Street
Kennebunk, Maine 04043

Before you return to your Kennebunk Inn, you should check out one more famous sea captain's house. Just down the road from the Captain Nathaniel Lord Thompson House, you will see a house with exquisite Italianate features. This house was built in 1825, and it was first owned by physician Dr. Burleigh Smart. After Smart passed away, it was acquired by Franklin Thompson, who was the brother of Nathaniel and Charles Thompson. Franklin was also a sea captain, and he was wealthy enough to make extensive modifications to the house, including the addition of a piazza that served as a place for outdoor relaxation.