History of Captain Lord Mansion, Part Four

CLM Front Lawn BD

1900 – 1972

In this edition of the Captain Lord Mansion History, I will cover the years after Charles Clark’s ownership of the Mansion.  Charles P. Clark died in Nice, France in 1901.  After his death, the house always passed on to daughters in the family.  In fact, Charles P. Clark’s daughter Susan and her husband inherited the home during the early years of the 20th Century.  Susan had married Edward Buckland at the Charles P. Clark family brownstone mansion in New Haven on June 21, 1898.  It is located at 444 Orange Street in New Haven, CT and still exists.  As her parents did, Susan and her husband used the Mansion as a summer residence only.  After Edward’s and Susan’s deaths, their daughter Julia and her husband Harrison Fuller inherited and occupied the house summers only.  When Harrison died at the young age of 58 in 1958, Julia moved from Southern Connecticut to Kennebunkport and made the Mansion her year-round residence.  Since the Mansion was used only as a summer residence for many years, the building had never been properly winterized and the heating system was inadequate for year-round occupancy of the entire house. During her winters at the Mansion, Julia lived in only a few rooms of the 20,000 square foot house.  Additionally, during the years that the Bucklands and Fullers owned the Mansion, they maintained extensive gardens on the “River Green”.  There are some wonderful old paintings and photographs of the Mansion taken from Ocean Ave. which show the beautiful gardens.

Julia and Harrison had only one child, Lucy and she inherited the Mansion upon Julia’s death in 1971.  By the time of Lucy’s inheritance there was little left of the family estate in the way of liquid assets; yet, there were sizable inheritance taxes owed to the State and Federal governments.  Lucy chose to liquidate the family estate and to move to a more livable home in New Hampshire!  However, the extensive family collection of nautical historical documents, family heirlooms, fine antique furniture, paintings, china and silver was sold by Lucy at either private sale or by public auction to generate funds to pay taxes.  For example, there was a Simon Willard tall-case clock which was sold through Israel Sack’s New York City Gallery.  Additionally, the pair of original John Brewster paintings of Nathaniel and Phebe was sold by the Kennedy Gallery.  An ad for those paintings was prominently displayed in a 1972 copy of Antiques magazine. Reproductions of these valuable paintings hang in the lobby of the Captain Lord Mansion bed & breakfast inn today; they are for the enjoyment of guests and visitors.

Lucy had four children and we are still in touch with one of them, Juliet M. Parry.  Juliet has been a good friend to the Kennebunkport Historical Society by providing them several Lord Family paintings and family papers. Juliet’s mother Lucy died a number of years ago; however, the extended family is quite large and members show up at the inn from time to time to see the house and to share family history. I’ll continue the history in the next installment which will cover 1972 to 1978 when we bought the property.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield