Friday, April 20, 2012

The Wedding Cake House


How beautiful is this house! Yes, it's a bit over the top, and it is unique. Just look at all the fretwork. I can't imagine how talented one had to be, and how long it took to add all this adornment.


If you've been to Kennebunk, Maine you have probably driven by this very famous and most photographed house in Maine. It's formal name is the George W. Bourne House. The home was built in 1825 by Mr. Bourne.  Mr. Bourne was a very successful sea captain who fell in love with the European Gothic style.  When he came home he began creating and adding his handiwork to his home.


Above: A close up of the fencing & the home's sign
Below: X's & O's on the posts & a long view of the fence


The "Wedding Cake" name was applied to the house due to its wedding cake-like appearance. There are at least two legends about how the house came to be. The first legend is that the busy Bourne, a sea captain, had done the carpentry work to atone for not having taken his bride, Jane, on a proper honeymoon.

The second legend is that it came to be that the carving had been done during the long lonely hours aboard ship by a recently married sea captain wh had to leave his bride before he even had time to eat his wedding cake! These legends are not the case, but it's a great story isn't it!



Bourne was a highly skilled carpenter and did all the work himself. It is said that his skill knew no limits. In 1852 the barn caught fire and Bourne had the carriage house demolished to keep the fire from spreading. Bourne rebuilt the barn with the assistance of one friend, that was his only help!

Bourne descendants lived in the home until 1983! I find it amazing that this home remained in the family for 158 years!

In 2005 this private home opened to the public for the first time, to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I'm patiently waiting for the next opening . . .



I found it amusing that the "Baker's" lived across the street from the Wedding Cake House! LOL!!

I hope you enjoyed my trip to Kennebunk, Maine and a brief history of the most photographed home in Maine!



39 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I LOVED the tour of the wedding cake house. Ohhhhh, I would SO love to take a tour through that beautiful place. Thanks so much for sharing. Susan

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  2. I have seen this house a couple of times and it is very beautiful! I love that area of Maine! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pictures.

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  3. Hmm... if I was a bride and my new husband didn't take me on a proper honeymoon, I don't think I'd want all that (admittedly, very beautiful) carpentry work instead - I'd still want him to spend time with ME :-)
    What is in there now?

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  4. As a kid we would take sunday drives and drive past this house. Dad would always slow down so we could get a good look.
    I do wish I could have gone inside.
    Cathy

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  5. I've seen this house. In fact, we stayed down the street at the Waldo Emerson B & B, which by the way, is an absolutely delightful spot I blogged about several years ago. I hope they can find the money to keep this home going. It is so unique.

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  6. What a unique home. I can not imagine living there, but would love to see the inside.
    Sam

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  7. I love stories like this of these wonderful old houses... never been to Kennebunk and I'm putting it on the list!.. love your header too :-)

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  8. What a gorgeous place! I bet when all the flowers are in bloom, it really looks gorgeous with all the color! It WOULD be the perfect place for a wedding! Thanks for showing it to us...love that it's baker lives right across the street...ha!

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  9. what a beautiful home!! i could spend hours driving and looking at homes.... enjoy your day! raining up north here today!

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  10. I have been to Kennebunk twice, years ago. I'm sure I must have seen this gorgeous house but was probably to young to appreciate its uniqueness and beautiful. I love yellow houses and this one is certainly a stunner. The legend was fun to read.

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  11. Wow! Now, THAT's impressive! Even more so, knowing that the Captain did the work! It's just beautiful ... but not open all the time? Why? is is a private residence?

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  12. I have stopped by the lovely house, strolled the grounds and the gift shop that used to be there. It is really beautiful.

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  13. It totally does look like it has been decorated with frosting!

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  14. That is some house! I wonder how it is decorated inside. Yes, the neighbor named Baker is a funny coincidence.

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  15. I never noticed the Xs and Os before. That's funny!

    I can't imagine how much work it takes to keep all those details kept up. And it always looks immaculate.

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  16. How wonderful, I would love to see this home in person!! I am kind of sad it is not still in the family. Such great history!

    I hope you can make it over for my $100 Soft Surroundings Giveaway!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  17. What a wonderful house and post. I swear, America would be a much less interesting place without our sea captains, wouldn't it? They always have the most wonderful houses. And this one takes the cake.;)))

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  18. Amazing house and that's a lot of adornment! Interesting stories about the house and how it got it's name. So funny about the Baker's living across the street ;)

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  19. Hi lovely lady.
    Wow now this is a house so Beautiful and yes it looks like a wedding cake.Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my Earth Day Tablescape. Hope you and your family have a wonderful week coming up.
    XXOO Diane

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  20. How gorgeous is that?? I loved this post...the photos, the history. Such fun and amazing it stayed in the family over so many years.
    It reminded me of a B & B in Charleston, SC. called Two Meeting Street Inn. It's not quite as old nor as decorative, but quite charming.

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  21. SO very beautiful. I'd love to see in it. That was a nice idea they had to raise money.
    Did it have a ballroom?

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  22. It's so interesting hearing about places so far away from us in South Wales-thank you for the delightful post!

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  23. Oh, what a beautiful home ~ and such an interesting legend. How wonderful that the family was able to keep the home for over 150 years. Very unique.

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  24. This really is wonderful article ! I simply love’d it !

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  25. I enjoyed seeing/reading about this house. Even though I have been up there I don't remember seeing it. Quite a show place!

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  26. beautiful post thanks for sharing I am newest follower.

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  27. LOL: Thanks for solving the mystery about your husband's comment!

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  28. Wow what a fabulous ornate building! Lovely story too, thanks for sharing!

    Sorry I've been a stranger recently, don't where the time is going this year! Hope you are well!

    Gill xx

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  29. Amazing!
    What a love and dedication Bourne must have had for his home :)
    I would LOVE to see it in person one day.
    Question.. is it wood frame construction, or painted brick? My eyesight is getting old and I can't tell --LOL~
    I am so glad that you found me..... again :)
    You used to follow me with my old blog "Cottage On Main'... and I made that blog private.
    Happy to have you visit again!!
    I am following you too, and so looking forward to reading your posts.
    I'm going to be certain to put you on my blog list.
    Have a wonderful day!!

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  30. Hi Mary
    You have a fascinating blog and lovely pictures.
    Lisa

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  31. Love the name of that house; it is a dream house for sure.
    Rita

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  32. Oh doesn't that make ya just want to buy some glass slippers and move right in to live happily ever after??? What a grand place!!!

    Heeehehehe, it's riot that the Bakers live across the street!

    God bless ya sweetie and have yourself an awesome kinda day!!! :o)

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  33. Isn't this house amazing Mary?! We drove by it not three weeks ago;) Funny about the Bakers across the street!!

    happy weekend!
    joan

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  34. I saw the outside of this magnificent house on a visit to Kennebunk about eight years ago, Mary. I was so impressed by all the delicate woodwork and gothic shape. I enjoyed reading more about the history of the house.

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  35. Hi Mary!
    Just wanted to thank you for your Birthday wishes to my daughter Bella a week or so ago, and for your lovely comment! I'm not sure how it happened but I found your comment today in my spam tray :( and then when I tried to publish it, it disappeared!
    Anyway, I'm so sorry about that but both Bella and I do appreciate your leaving the lovely comment and Birthday wishes!
    Gill xx

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  36. I've always loved this house! We used to live across from the Lady Pepperell House in Kittery Point Maine, which isn't as frilly as the Wedding Cake house, but a gorgeous old 1760 mansion.

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  37. What a beautiful house! Only the other day I was out driving, with my father, and he pointed out a wedding cake tree, which I never knew existed. Also very pretty!

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  38. I always drive by this house when I am in the Kennebunkport area and I have many photographs of it. What spectacular architectural details!

    Like you, I am waiting to see the interior of the house.

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  39. You were on my mind today and I just wanted to pop in and wish you a fantastically blessed weekend sweetie!

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I'm thrilled you've stopped by and I always enjoy your comments! Thank you!