What is The Foliage Forecast for Maine?

Sebago Lake

Do you wonder what the foliage forecast for Maine will be in the coming weeks?  We are fortunate that the State of Maine has an official website dedicated to keeping travelers abreast of the progression of the color throughout the state.  Bev and I have a wonderful day-trip outlined for guests which takes them along beautiful back-roads up around Sebago Lake to Long Lake.  We recently took the trip ourselves and stopped in the town of Naples for ice cream and sightseeing along the lakeside walkways.  There were several nice restaurants where we could have enjoyed a waterfront lunch; however, we were there later in the day. When you are visiting the Captain Lord Mansion this fall, please allow us to help you plan your day experiencing our foliage. Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Fall Foliage

3 Kennebunkport Golf Courses near the Captain Lord Mansion!

cape arundel Kennebunkport Golf CourseThe Cape Arundel Golf Club is a links-type course, many of whose fairways roll alongside the Kennebunk River which makes for a cool and scenic round of golf.  Also, this is the course favored by President Bush 41 when he was still able to golf.  I am not a golfer; however, I have worked as a volunteer at several tournaments held there and the players always extol the challenge and fun of playing this course.  In the winter, this is a beautiful place to cross-country ski or snowshoe!  Bev and I often avail ourselves of this opportunity on sunny winter afternoons.

Kennebunkport GolfThe Webhannet Golf Club is located on the Kennebunk side of the river and it too is a beautiful rolling course offering challenging and scenic fairways.  When I was a member of Rotary International, many of my fellow business associates were members at this course.  I have also volunteered for tournaments at this course where participants enjoyed an afternoon of golfing followed by a barbecue.  Even though I don’t play golf, it is fun to be part of tournaments.

 

Webhannet GC  Kennebunkport Golf Course The Dutch Elm Golf Course is located a little longer drive from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast in Arundel, ME.  They say “Give us a try! You will find the only thing better than our golf course is the friendly manner in which our staff and members will make you feel welcome.”  This club seems to consist of a little more compact course than the others, but many of our guests have enjoyed playing it.

So, if you are wondering what golf courses in Maine are near the Captain Lord Mansion, we hope this blog will give you some information about really excellent courses which are only minutes from the inn.  Additionally, our office staff is pleased to secure tee times for you. Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

P.S. Are you aware that the Mansion has its own putting green which is located on the lawn between the Captain’s Garden House and the Captain Lord Mansion?

CLM Putting Green  Kennebunkport Golf Course

Fine Antique Galleries in Southern Maine

As Bev and I celebrate our 37th summer as keepers of the inn at the Captain Lord Mansion, we want to share about what we consider to be two of the finest antique galleries in Southern Maine. They are conveniently located within a few miles of our romantic bed & breakfast.

Farm Antiques

The Farm Antiques is set in a bucolic country setting off the beaten path amidst beautiful flower gardens and beside a small pond.  The white clapboard farm house and barn contain a collection of beautiful antique furnishings and decorative items which have been personally selected by owners, Hannah and David Crouthamel.  They make yearly trips to England and Europe, selecting what we consider to be some of the finest offerings on the coast of Maine.  Hannah is second generation dealer; her parents Tom and Jeannette Hackett founded the business in 1967.  We were fortunate to count Tom and Jeannette among our friends in the area business community and still are friends with Hannah and David.  When folks ask us where they can find quality antiques, this is the first place we send them.

1685 mill house - jorgensen

R Jorgensen Fine Period Antiques is another multi-generational dealership. It was started in 1971 in another old farmstead (the 1685 Mill House) in Wells by Robert Jorgensen and his wife Rebecca.  The business today is ably carried on by their son Ric and his sister Pamela.  They too have an incredible selection of real quality furnishings and decorative items for purchase by discriminating collectors.  In fact, Bev and I have purchased a number of items from both the Hacketts and the Jorgensens for our personal antique collection.

When visiting Southern Maine and the Captain Lord Mansion, please allow our staff to guide you to both these extraordinary antique stores.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

“Top 7″ Art Galleries in Kennebunkport

Bev and I are avid art collectors. If you have been to the Captain Lord Mansion, you know that both the public areas and each guest room is graced with beautiful oil paintings.  Many of the paintings in the public areas are from our personal collection such as those in the Mansion’s office. Three of those paintings are by Dennis Perrin who shows his work at Mast Cove Gallery. Dennis features his wife as the model and each of the three works in our office depict her.  Here is a list of our recommended “Top 7″ Art Galleries in Kennebunkport, not in any order of preference we add!

Mast Cove Gallery – Jean Briggs is the owner of this gallery and a good friend of ours. As we are celebrating 36 years in business, she is celebrating 35 years as owner of the gallery!  Over that time, we have purchased many paintings from her gallery, including several by Frank Handlen, an example of his work is below.  Mast Cove Gallery is located on Maine Street just two blocks and a very short walk from the Mansion.

Frank Handlen

Landmark Gallery – David P. Fouts is the gallery owner and an excellent artist in his own right!  In the evenings, Bev and I enjoy strolling to town along Ocean Avenue where the gallery is located; it is just two blocks from the Mansion. Many is the night we stop into the gallery to see newly-painted work for sale.  David has many of his beautiful impressionistic style paintings for sale in the gallery, as well as works from other artists.  Here is his “Age of Discovery.”  I love his work.

David P. Fouts

Maine Art Gallery – This gallery is located in the heart of the action in the Port. It is a large gallery as well as framing store with a plethora of artists represented.  John and Francesca, long-time owners of the gallery, have a second location on Chase Hill where they present both a sculpture garden and art shows.  Additionally, the gallery represents Lyman Whitaker and displays a large number of his “Wind Sculptures.” Bev and I were fortunate to recently have dinner with this young artist; we love his style. The title of Craig Mooney’s work below is “Whispering Wind.”

Craig Mooney

The Wright Gallery – Charlie Wright has been a fixture in Cape Porpoise (part of Kennebunkport) for many years. In addition to superb works of art, he carries some fabulous ship models made by a local lobster-man.  I am fortunate to have purchased two of his sailboat models and proudly display them in our personal residence.  Below is a painting of sheep by Gretchen Huber, we have a painting by her of a pig which is located in the Captain Lord Mansion office.

Gretchen Huber

The Scott Bundy Gallery has a nice selection of works by a number of well-regarded artists. Bev and I have purchased several beautiful works by Dennis Sheehan from Scott for our home.  Scott tells us that “My gallery features an eclectic collection of museum-quality traditional and contemporary works by internationally renowned artists.”

Dennis Sheehan

The W. Robert Payne Gallery features paintings by our friend Bob Payne. He paints local scenes such as seascapes, lobster boats and so forth.  He has been honored by having several of his works purchased by President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush for their collection.  This is a copy of Bob’s painting “Salt Wind” which is artist Frank Handlen’s sailboat.

W. Robert Payne

The Will Cunha Gallery – Will has created one of the most highly acclaimed paintings honoring both Kennebunkport and President George H. W. Bush; it is a representation of the annual Memorial Day Service which is held in the Port’s Dock Square. Prints of this painting, which was personally signed by both President and Mrs. Bush, are his best sellers.  This is his representation of “Dock Square” in a winter storm.

Will Cunha

 

Do You Know it is Maine Blueberry Season?

Maine Blueberry Season

It is Maine Blueberry Season!  I did not know that Maine produces over 90 percent of the wild blueberry crop harvested each year in the United States. When one thinks of Maine, we usually think of lobster; interestingly, the blueberry harvest in Maine amounts to approximately 30 million pounds annually, while last year’s lobster catch amounted to 126 million pounds.

We want our guests to enjoy Maine produce while staying at the Captain Lord Mansion.  Thus, we serve delicious freshly-picked blueberries as part of our fresh-fruit offerings for breakfast each morning.  Additionally, we serve freshly-baked blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes at least one day per week.

If you are desirous of an adventure, we can direct you to several local farms where you may pick your own blueberries. These farms offer cultivated high-bush blueberries which are plump and juicy and a lot easier to pick than the wild blueberries which are found in bushes that are very low to the ground and require much back-straining labor.  However, there are the “blueberry plains” nearby where you may pick the wild ones!   Here is an interesting link to a Blueberry Blog that has a lot of information about the healthy aspects of blueberries..

Reading the recent edition of the “Tourist News,” a local newspaper, I learned a fascinating fact about black bears and blueberries!  The author of the article, Dan Marois writes “Perhaps the biggest fan of blueberries is the black bear who considers the feast a delicacy. Bears are known to eat nothing else except the juicy blueberries when they are in season. It has been documented that bears will travel, with an empty stomach, from 10 to 15 miles per day to sniff out a blueberry patch.”

Happy blueberry picking, your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Bush Memorabilia on Display at First Families Museum

Bush Estate

Above: Picture of President Bush’s Compound

Did you know that the “First Families Museum” which is located in the Kennebunkport Historical Society’s Nott House has a current display of President Bush 41, 90th Birthday memorabilia, including the jump suit he wore while making his historic parachute jump at the age of 90?  I personally am awed by the small sculpture of clasped hands made from metal from the “twin tower” wreckage.  There are many more items worth seeing as well as the CNN documentary “Bush 41″.  The Bush Gallery is just one part of what visitors experience when they tour the historic Nott House or “White Columns” as the house is affectionately known by locals because of its imposing “Greek Revival” columns which grace the front and side of the building.  The tour of the home gives understanding of the family that lived in the house and tells how their lives impacted and blended into the rich and vibrant history of Kennebunkport. For those who love gift shops, there also is an excellent gift shop with many special items not found elsewhere in the Port!  The Captain Lord Mansion staff can assist in guiding you to this excellent museum.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Nott House

What is The Eastern Trail Near the Captain Lord Mansion?

The Eastern Trail

We would like you to imagine a tree-shaded and off-the-beaten trail that winds through beautiful wooded sections of the Southern Coast of Maine.  This pathway is The Eastern Trail and it excludes motorized vehicles and is highly prized by bicyclists, hikers and runners for safe journeys away from the hustle and bustle of the Interstate and Route 1.  There is a 6.2 mile section nearby the Captain Lord Mansion which traverses the towns of Kennebunk, Arundel and Biddeford.  The parking lot for beginning that portion of the Eastern Trail is located in Kennebunk at the Kennebunk Elementary School at 177 Alewife Road.  If guests begin in Kennebunk, the secluded trail currently ends at the parking lot of Southern Maine Medical center in Biddeford.  There, Bev and I usually stop at a nearby Dunkin Donuts for a refreshing iced tea while resting up for the return trip to Kennebunk.  Our staff at the Captain Lord Mansion can give explicit directions to find the trail-head as well as providing loaned bicycles.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

What is the Summer Exhibition at The Brick Store Museum?

World War II Museum

The Brick Store Museum, contrary to the implied name, is a well-regarded local history museum with national accreditation.  As a past president of the organization, I am an avid supporter of this wonderful organization.  It was founded in an historic “brick building” that used to be a “store,” thus the name.

Recently, I was able to get a behind-the-scenes tour during a visit to the Museum where I securing loan of a Captain Lord Mansion weather-vane which many years ago Bev and I donated to their collection.  The storage areas are worth a visit just to see the magnificent organization of the collections.  Perhaps, if requested, Bev and I can put together some private behind-the-scenes tours for our guests.

One current exhibit which caught my fancy is a small collection of Louis Norton paintings. The Museum recently was able to add 5 of his paintings to its own collection through purchase at auction.  It is interesting that the Captain Lord Mansion was painted by Louis Norton, and Bev and I own the original work. We are currently having copies made which we’ll have available for sale in our gift shop.

Another exhibit at the Museum until the fall is “Vitamin V: How Food Fought The Second World War.” Visitors to the Museum will see two galleries filled with a large collection of 1940′s propaganda posters, as well as other ephemera relating to life on the home front during the war.

Captain Lord Mansion guests can secure tickets at our office.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Captain Lord Mansion Gardens in Full Bloom!

Summer Gardens

The Captain Lord Mansion gardens are in full bloom and we think they are more beautiful than ever.  Bev and a young assistant have been working daily watering, weeding and dead-heading each of the many garden areas situated around the inn.  From the welcoming guest walkway at the guest entrance to the “Memory Garden,” to the waterfall to the extensive garden between the Captain’s Garden House and the Captain Lord Mansion, each is ablaze with color and beautiful flowers.  The roses are quite large and magnificent!  If you are coming to Kennebunkport this summer, we invite you to take a walk on our grounds to experience the gardens.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Captain's Garden House

What is MaineStage Shakespeare?

Historic Inns of Kennebunkport

The Historic Inns of Kennebunkport are proud sponsors of the MaineStage Shakespeare Company. This exciting troupe of up-and-coming young actors will appear on the River Green (in front of the Captain Lord Mansion) at 8:00 pm each Saturday evening from July 12th through August 2nd. Each summer, the enthusiasm and dedication to classical theater of the MaineStage ensemble brings two of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays to the fore. This year, the plays are Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew!

These plays are performed free of charge. Patrons may bring their own blankets & chairs; additionally, chairs can be rented at the show for a small fee. A “Free-Will Offering” is taken at each performance to help support the expenses of the troupe.

As an added bonus, several members of the company will appear for a short preview and “meet & greet” at one of the four Historic Inns of Kennebunkport at 4:00 pm on the day of each performance. The 1802 House will host the Macbeth gathering on Saturday, July 12th.  The Captain Lord Mansion will be the location for the Taming of the Shrew preview on Saturday, July 19th.  The July 26th Macbeth pre-performance gathering will be at the Maine Stay Inn & Cottages.  The final preview of the Taming of the Shrew will be held on Saturday, August 2nd at the Captain Jefferds Inn. All guests are welcome at each of the inns for these preview gatherings.

Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield