Kennebunkport, Maine, is rich with history dating back thousands of years, from ancient tribes to early English explorers and the very birth of America as we know it. It is easy to find signs of the incredible past this area has had, and when you stay at The Nonantum Resort, you will have the opportunity to learn about our incredible home and its colorful history.
A Brief History Lesson
To truly tell the whole story of our coastal haven, it would take far more than a single blog. The earliest significant explorers that landed in Kennebunk – meaning “long cut bank” – were found to have set foot on our shores in 1602. The history of Kennebunk has since been well documented with many others after the recorded landing of Bartholomew Gosnold. Colonies were constructed, and the settlers and Native Americans coincided with each other until the year 1675 when King Philip’s War unfolded. Turmoil between the settlers with French and Native Americans did not cease until the year 1760.
As the friction between the three groups finally dwindled, the war of American independence was taking flight and many Kennebunk residents lost their lives. Many battles against the English were fought, and in the year 1820, Maine was officially independent from Massachusetts and Kennebunk was formally pronounced Kennebunkport as we know it today!
Due to the location on the coast and the easy access from the Kennebunk River, Kennebunkport, Maine, became a hub for crafting large vessels. Sailing the Atlantic Ocean was becoming more and more popular, and the fishing was prime, so the shipbuilding era catapulted the growth of Kennebunkport and its neighboring towns.
Kennebunkport thrived throughout the shipbuilding era, and beautifully constructed buildings and churches were erected that still stand as incredible memories of the past. After the Civil War, Kennebunkport found a new niche market as vacations became an ever-growing trend. In 1873, the very first grand hotels were constructed as the area’s first Kennebunkport lodging for volumes of vacationers. Only two of the grand hotels stand today, one of which is our very own Nonantum Resort, which was built in 1884.
Where You Can Learn First-Hand
Kennebunkport, Maine, has since grown to the beautiful city we all know and love today. You can still see the visions of the past through the architecture throughout the streets. Many museums have opened to educate others about our history, such as The First Families Museum. You can take a tour with Museum in the Streets, hosted by the Kennebunkport Historical Society, and take a walk through the streets, stop in for a bite to eat at one of the many Kennebunkport restaurants, and leisurely explore the city while actively learning along the way. A Bible owned by the Baxter family of Kennebunk, taken captive in a raid in 1726, was found and remains in the Brick Store Museum to this day. Stop by the Seashore Trolley Museum for another look into our intriguing history.
Living History At The Nonantum Resort
As Nonantum still thrives, offering generations of visitors memorable stays, our beautiful resort stands as a living piece of history. The last original structure of The Nonantum Resort is The Carriage House Inn. Though the building has had a few modern updates over the years, it still holds the beautiful original architectural designs that Kennebunkport is historically known for. Stay with us at The Nonantum Resort to discover the history of Kennebunkport, Maine. Take a trip to historic downtown, explore the beaches and ports that once held incredible wooden sea vessels, and travel back in time with a Nonantum Resort getaway.