The “Wedding Cake” name was applied to the house due to its wedding cake-like appearance. Legend developed 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. This was not the case.
Called the “most photographed house in the state” of Maine, the Wedding Cake House, known formally as the George W. Bourne House, is an historic house located at 104 Summer Street in Kennebunk, Maine. The home was built in 1825 by shipbuilder George W. Bourne (1801-1856), who later built a frame barn which he connected to the main house with a carriage house. In 1852, the barn caught fire and the carriage house was demolished to keep the fire from spreading to the house. Bourne, who during a European tour had been impressed by the Gothic beauty of the cathedral at Milan, rebuilt the carriage house and barn in what later came to be known as Carpenter Gothicstyle. Using hand tools, he crafted five buttresses with pinnacles on top of each. Then in order to tie the new structures in with the existing house, he added six buttresses with pinnacles to the house and then joined them together with intricate woodwork. His only help in doing this was Thomas Durrell, an apprentice ship’s carpenter. Bourne spent the rest of his life adding to these embellishments.
So this is the true story of the Wedding Cake House. When you visit the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport, we can direct you to view this magnificent architectural gem. Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield