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

The Captain Lord Mansion Supports The Arundel Barn Playhouse!

Maine Theaters

The Arundel Barn Playhouse is located in a beautiful restored barn; it is what you imagine for a summer stock theater in Maine. Bev and I love the enthusiastic and joyous performances by the young troupe of performers.  The line-up of plays this season is heavily weighted to musicals that will have you clapping your hands and tapping your feet. The shows include “8 Track: Sounds of the 70′s” (June 17-28), “A Chorus Line” (July 1-12), “My Fair Lady” (July 15-26), “Legally Blonde” (Aug 5-16), and “The Marvelous Wonderettes” (Aug 19-30).  Also, the Theater is now air-conditioned, so it is comfortable on those hot summer evenings.  The office staff at the Captain Lord Mansion can secure you tickets in advance and charge them to your room.  Don’t let your visit this season pass without experiencing authentic Maine summer theater!

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Arundel Barn Playhouse

Captain Lord Mansion Guests Save 20% at The Ogunquit Playhouse

Summer Theatres

The Ogunquit Playhouse is a summer tradition in Southern Maine. From the Playhouse’s website, “Unlike other Summer Theatres of its day, which were renovated barns, garages or churches, the Ogunquit Playhouse was the first, and remains the only, summer theatre from the Summer Stock era built exclusively as a seasonal theatre.”  That distinction gives Ogunquit theatergoers a real theater experience; Bev and I particularly like the sloped seating which allows for excellent viewing of the shows.  Many of our guests combine a night at the theater with dinner at one of Ogunquit’s excellent restaurants.  One of those, Jonathan’s, is within walking distance of the theater.

This season’s offering include “Grease” which opened the season and concluded on June 21.  The next offering is “Billy Elliot, the Musical” (June 25th – July 26th), “Mary Poppins” (July 30-Aug 30), “The Witches of Eastwick’ (Sept 3-27) and concludes with “The Adams Family” (Oct 1-26).

Guests staying at the Captain Lord Mansion or the Captain’s Garden House receive a 20% discount on tickets purchased through our office. If you want to attend the Ogunquit Playhouse during your visit, please call ahead that we might secure you excellent seating.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

What are Kennebunkport’s Top 5 “Farm to Table” Boutique Restaurants?

Kennebunkport’s Top 5 “Farm to Table” Boutique Restaurants are Bandaloop, 50 Local, Earth, The Village Tavern and Joshua’s.  The Captain Lord Mansion is pleased to make these recommendations and share our favorite menus items.

Bev and I love dining at each of these small establishments not only because of the fresh ingredients used in their offerings and their distinctive menus, but also because they offer a different dining experience.  We have favorite items we like to order at each restaurant. The challenge is that since the menus regularly change due to changing produce availability, we become stuck in a rut of ordering our favorite menu item. We should be more adventuresome!

Farm to Table

At Bandaloop I love their “Wilted Organic Spinach Salad”. From the menu description; “It is a quick saute of red onion, broccoli, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and finished with sheep’s milk feta and toasted pine nuts.” Additionally, it can be ordered with chicken, steak or shrimp on top.  This is one scrumptious salad!

Fresh Haddock

At 50 Local I personally like their “Crispy Haddock” which is served with “Hand Cut Fries” and their own version of a delicious tartar sauce.  Though several items on their menu change based upon product availability, I can always depend on freshly-caught haddock being on the menu. If you are a fan of traditional “Fish & Chips,” you’ll love their interpretation of this traditional Maine dish.

Wood-Fired Lobster

Earth is a culinary and experiential delight in that it is tucked away in the woods at Hidden Pond, the new resort close to Goose Rocks Beach.  Much of their greens are grown right on their own grounds.  Their signature dish is”Wood-Fired Lobster with green garlic butter, fresh garbanzo beans, Meyer lemon and chamomile.”  However, I am a fan of their “Diver Scallops served with smoked potato puree, Fiddle Head, baby fennel and Vidalia onions.  This is a combination of their locally-grown greens combined with local scallops; a tasty dish!

Fresh Mussels

The Village Tavern in West Kennebunk is another new restaurant offering terrific food with local content.  Bev’s favorite dish here is the steamed mussels.  These are the plumpest, most delicious mussels which I have ever tasted.  Bev likes hers in the “herbs and Pernod cream” sauce; however, they also are offered in a traditional “Marinara” sauce.

Fresh Fish Entrees

Joshua’s is really located in Wells, a short drive from the Port. However, this restaurant is worth the drive.  My favorite dish here is the “Atlantic Haddock” served with a “caramelized onion crust, chive oil served over a mild mushroom risotto.”  Since we live near where the fish are caught, you can never go wrong ordering Atlantic Haddock; Joshua’s always has the freshest, most delicious fish entrees.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

The Kennebunkport River Green Frames The Captain Lord Mansion!

CLM Front Lawn BD

In addition to the remodeled and expanded “Captain Lord Mansion”, Mr. Charles P. Clark, the grandson of Nathaniel Lord, left a significant legacy to the town. Sometime during the late 1800’s he decided he wanted an unobstructed view of the Kennebunk River.  Therefore, he had three houses removed from the land directly in front of the “Mansion”. In her book A Kennebunkport Album, author Joyce Butler says; “It was Clark who envisioned the land from Pleasant Street to Ocean Avenue as a sloping lawn, or green, from his mansion to the old rigging loft which he had bought to be used as a boat house by his family.” That sweeping lawn is now called the “Kennebunkport River Green” and is owned by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, which paid $32,500 for it in 1976. The green is preserved and maintained as an open space for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors. The green is home to craft fairs, art shows and concerts during summer months. It is probable to say that Mr. Clark would be pleased with the fruition of his vision continuing to the present. Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield