Happy New Year! We wanted to kick off 2021 with something different and cheerful, so we’ve been saving up this post for a while.
The Wedding Cake House is reportedly most photographed house in Maine, so we dragged the whole family up to Kennebunk, Maine, last November. A thousand percent worth it!
In 1825, shipbuilder George W. Bourne (1801-1856) built a Federal-style house, carriage house and barn.
After the barn and carriage house burned down, he built new structures starting in 1852, adding elaborate Gothic details after having been inspired by the Cathedral at Milan. With the help of an apprentice ship carpenter, Thomas Durrell, Bourne spent the rest of his life adding more intricate details to the house. He finished about four months before his death.
Many generations of the Bourne family lived here until 1983, when Bourne’s last descendant sold the Wedding Cake house to Mary Burnett, and her daughter, Anne, who completely restored the palace.
James Hunt Barker bought the house from Burnett for $650,000 in 1998. For the first time ever, the house was opened to the public in 2005, where Barker offered tours to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
A few years later, he did the same thing to benefit a local food pantry.
We went down a HUGE rabbit hole researching Barker, an art dealer and all-around fascinating character, who was known for stopping traffic when he took his 23 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for a walk in Palm Beach, Florida.
We were so taken with him and his personality, and some of the recent things he’d been through. So it broke our hearts to discover that Barker, who had been in ill health for several years, had died about a month prior — in October, 2020, at the age of 92.
The house had fallen into disrepair over the past few years. But Barker’s nephew, Hunt Edwards, and his family are currently restoring the Maine landmark.
The Wedding Cake House is getting a fresh start, y’all. Hopefully we can all do that, too — starting today!
Happy 2021, and thanks for being here with us.
No word on who will be the next bride or groom of the house.