Waldo Emerson Inn History

The Inn is the oldest remaining house in Kennebunk and has had several famous owners.

The original Dutch gambrel was constructed by one Waldo Emerson in 1753. Waldo, great-uncle of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet/essayist, made a tidy profit building clipper ships on the Kennebunk River behind the house.

It was inherited through marriage by Theodore Lyman, who made a fortune building ships on the site and added the enormous addition in 1784 as a wedding gift for his second wife. The Inn has a rich Underground Railroad history with various intriguing hiding places in the cellar and attics.

Check Availability Calendar

Or call: 877-521-8776 (toll free) or 207-985-4250

Book Now

 

Theodore Lyman sold the home in 1804, to build the now-famous Lyman Estate and Greenhouses in Waltham, Mass. The house was purchased by John Bourne, father of 15 children, one of whom was George Washington Bourne, the builder of the famous Wedding Cake House next door. When George moved out with his new bride in 1826, he sold the home to his brother-in-law, Henry Kingsbury, and it remained in the Kingsbury family until 1979. George and Henry teamed up to form the Bourne Kingsbury Shipyard. They ran a West India goods store and built 33 vessels behind the house between 1820 and 1850.

Waldo Emerson Inn Bed and Breakfast is a wonderful recollection of the past. You enter directly into the 255-year-old keeping room with its hand-hewn oak timbers hung with dried flowers, pewter, and copper.

The Inn offers four romantic and cozy guest rooms each with its own handmade quilts, antiques, working fireplaces and private baths with heated marble tiled floors. During your stay, please stop by Mainely Quilts located in the carriage house next to the Inn.

parlor-previewThe guests’ parlor is a spacious, comfortable room with sofas and wing chairs. You’re welcome to kick back and relax with a good book in front of the fire, watch cable TV, or enjoy a game of chess. Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks are available.

The breakfast room is unchanged since it was built the year that George Washington was inaugurated, with a handsome fireplace used every morning during the autumn and winter months. The signatures in the windowpanes were scratched with diamond rings by many of the inhabitants who lived here between 1800 and 1850. A massive oak table seats all of our guests for a bountiful, three-course gourmet breakfast served between 8:30 and 9:30 each morning with the menu changing daily.

Check Availability Calendar

Or call: 877-521-8776 (toll free) or 207-985-4250

Book Now

The Waldo Emerson Bed and Breakfast, is truly a four-season inn. In spring, the inn and the town are abloom with tulips and daffodils. The air is brisk, the shops and restaurants are open, and the crowds are light. In summer, flowers abound in the inn’s gardens. We are just moments from the beach with complementary beach parking permits, towels and beach chairs provided.

There are dozens of excellent restaurants nearby. Be sure to save some time to enjoy sailing, whale watching, kayaking, hiking and summer arts festivals. July and August only means one thing…sun time at our world famous beaches and Lobster! Bring the whole family for a cozy reunion. People the world over know of Maine’s coastline, the rocky shores and picturesque lighthouses. We are ready to show you some awesome coastal day-trips.

Make sure to contact the Innkeeepers – Kathy and John and make your reservation with them for some additional neat extras