178 votes

Wedding Cake House

105 Summer St, Kennebunk, Maine 04043 USA

  • Independent
  • No Public
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“this one takes the cake”

Once called the "most photographed house in the state" of Maine, the Wedding Cake House, known formally as the George W. Bourne House, is a 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 Gothic style. 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. It has been said of Bourne: "The highly skilled carpenter knew no limits to his skill."

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.

In 1983, the home was purchased from the last descendant of George Bourne to live there by Mary Burnett and her daughter Anne. The women completely restored the mansion, completing the work in 1984.

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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
November 25, 2018
Rated 4.0

Summer street itself is fun to drive by, with so many mansions! I wouldn't go out of the way for this pit stop, but if it's en route the detail to the design of the mansion is beautiful

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 58 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
September 21, 2022
Rated 4.0

Another beautiful home in the area, but this one is quite unique. Not to far out of the way at all, and worth driving by. Would love to see the inside, but not an option, yet.

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Wedding Cake House

105 Summer St
Kennebunk, Maine
04043 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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