Built in 1812 by housewright Thomas Eaton, the Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine, was made for Captain Nathaniel Lord (1776-1815), a wealthy shipbuilder and sea merchant.
“When a British blockade during the War of 1812 ground the Kennebunkport shipping industry to a halt, successful shipbuilder and merchant Captain Nathaniel Lord commissioned his workers to construct a grand, three-story Federal Mansion topped with a cupola,” said an article in the Seacoast Online. “The large rear extension was completed in 1898 and the property passed through seven generations of female Lord descendants before being sold, for the first time in its history, in 1972.”
Lord was married to Phoebe Walker, whose father gifted the couple the land on which to build. The mansion was completed in 1814, but Nathaniel died in early 1815 at the age of 38, only enjoying his home — the largest and most prominent in Kennebunkport — for a few months.
The house was passed down through five generations of Lord descendants. Lord’s grandson, Charles P. Clark, was the third-generation owner of the house, which he used as a summer home. A railroad magnate, he made numerous renovations and additions at the end of the 1800s.
It was finally sold outside the family in 1972, when it became a bed and breakfast. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
In 1978, Rick and Bev Litchfield bought the inn — still one of Kennebunkport’s most iconic properties — and ran it for 40 years.
The couple established a “memory garden,” featuring pavers engraved with guests’ names who have made 10 visits or more.
The Lincoln Room in the B&B is said to be haunted, with occasional reports of a female apparition in a nightgown floating about. The spirit has also been spotted on the spiral staircase leading up to the cupola. Many believe it is Capt. Lord’s wife, Phoebe.
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