Historic Kennebunkport :: Places to Visit in Maine

There is so much construction activity in Kennebunk’s Lower Village, Kennebunkport and Goose Rocks Beach with many new businesses being built or having been opened this year, I was waxing nostalgic today about some great businesses which are no longer here.  Do you remember the Old Grist Mill Restaurant which was opened in the 1940’s and owned by two generations of the Lombard Family?  This restaurant was located on a tidal inlet from the Kennebunk River near the curve in the road where Maine Street merges into North Street.  It was an actual working grist mill which has been converted to a very fine restaurant.  As you entered the restaurant, you could see the old grinding wheel and other machinery.  The dining room was bright and cheery and overlooked the river, providing a great view during the summer and fall.  Of course, the restaurant was closed during the winter and early spring; there was no insulation or heat!  Each year when he opened for the season, Dave Lombard would call me to inquire about our advance reservations at the Captain Lord Mansion.  We always had good conversations about the prospects for the upcoming season.  Of course, that was during the 1980’s which were very good years for tourism. The restaurant burned down in 1994 under suspicious circumstances.  It definitely was arson, but no one was ever convicted of the crime.  Now, the land where the Old Grist Mill stood is owned by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and they have tentative plans to rebuild the mill building.  It is really unfortunate that we lost such a valuable historical building in our community and I don’t know if the mill actually will be rebuilt.  If it is, it won’t be the same piece of history.  Bev and I are pleased that we experienced this part of Kennebunkport’s history.  Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield