Captain Lord Mansion
A former lady of the house tends to give guests a thrill!
Once described as a family owned and run “Intimate East Coast Inn,” this white, 1812 three story mansion has been made into a rather elegant Bed and Breakfast Inn. Specializing as one of the most romantic get-away spots, it enjoys being located in a quiet neighborhood, “filled with meticulously preserved Colonial homes.”
“Romance is evident in all the details and special touches found in the luxurious guest rooms.” Every suite has many nice touches, including memory books, king & queen size beds, down comforters and pillows, fine European oil paintings, gas burning fireplaces (all rooms), fresh flowers and live plants, wine glasses and corkscrew, free bottled water and sodas, and CD player with romantic cds.”
In the blog Distracted Wanderer, one guest, known as Linda, reports, “As she told me about the heated marble floors, the four-head hydro-massage shower, the comfy robes, the European-style lighted make-up mirror, the various soaps and lotions, and the sinfully plush towels that were simply waiting for me to make use of them I kept thinking that things just kept getting better and better!”
The mansion has a spiral staircase that leads up to an eight-sided cupola located on the roof that offers a spectacular view.
The main gathering/dining room is decorated with antiques, two lovely oriental rugs, and features a rather large fireplace, with a pair of high-back wing chairs and a camel-back sofa to sit on and enjoy the fire and good conversation.
Captain Nathaniel Lord, who had made his money because of the financial fruits gained through his successful shipyards in Kennebunkport, built this fine mansion in 1812. The British blockade of Kennebunkport made it impossible for him to build ships, so being a practical man, hired his ship carpenter staff to build his new home. This way, he didn’t have to furlow anyone. It was time to build a new home; a mansion that would compete with other grand mansions in this neighborhood. Captain Fairfield was just across the street!
Captain Lord was married to Phoebe Walker with whom he had eight children. The ninth child was from an affair he had with the maid. Phoebe forgave his indiscretion and raised this child as one of her own, having a big, loving heart.
The good Captain found a lovely corner lot with huge grounds, and hired popular architect housewright Thomas Eaton. Easton was known for his other Federal structures such as Wallingford Hall and the Taylor-Barry House. Captain Lord spared no expense, with the goal of showcasing his success, and providing his large family a beautiful place to live and grow up.
Captain Nathaniel Lord moved into his grand Federal-style mansion with his family, though he didn’t get to live there too long. Captain Nathaniel Lord died in 1815, likely from the flu at the age of 39 years. While Captain Lord’s fortune left his wife Phoebe well off, she was very busy raising their large brood. Everyone enjoyed living here, comforted by its spacious, beautiful interior, and the large beautiful gardens and green space. This did indeed become the family forever home; all the way up to 1972.
Near the turn of the century, in 1898, Capt. Lord’s grandson, Charles Clark was inspired to undertake an extensive facelift of this 1812 Federal style home; funding a renovation of the beloved family dwelling. It needed to NOT BE a fixer-upper opportunity, but the cherished family forever home. Charles hired architect William Ralph Emerson, known for his talent in “Shingle Style” houses and inns, to design the three story addition seen today.
“Emerson removed the original ell, added the elliptical staircase in the front, the hallway arches, and the hand-grained doors all the while retaining the original 1812 Federal style architectural features. In what is now the gathering room Emerson installed a bay window with a curved window seat, high-Victorian wainscoting, target door moldings and the beamed ceiling.”
Four generations of the Captain Lord family members had enjoyed living in this beautiful mansion, and probably updated the amenities in the home as the years rolled along to suit their needs.
Challenges came in 1972, when Capt. Lord’s great-great granddaughter Julia Buckland Fuller, found herself in tax trouble, and was forced to “liquidate the estate” which included selling the furniture to meet the tax money obligation. As is, the once proud Captain Lord’s Mansion was put on the real estate market, and sat there; languishing unloved as a neglected fixer-upper opportunity, yearning to be restored.
Six years later, Captain Lord’s Mansion was given a new lease in its structural use with the sale of this property to Bev Davis and Rick Litchfield. These new owners were inspired to bring back this historic Federal style mansion to its former glory.
“Doors, floors and woodwork, were stripped of layers of paint exposing gleaming oak, the twenty two fireplaces, original to the inn, were repaired and upgraded to gas. Using old photographs showing the interior of the mansion and pouring over restoration books Bev and Rick were able to replicate the 19th century wall coverings and paint colors.”
“Paintings by artists such as Madjid, Herman Veger, Henri Dupre, Josef Arentz and Manuel Vicario decorate the walls. Tucked into nooks and crannies are elegant 19th century tall clocks, chests and high-boys. The late 1800’s Chippendale dining table with matching chairs and sideboard in the downstairs gathering room belonged to the Clark family.”
They decorated the guest rooms with 19th century four-poster beds, and other 19th century antiques. In the Ophelia Room, the four poster bed located there once belonged to the Lord family. The descendants probably sold it back to the new owners, wanting it to once again be in the mansion.
When Capt. Nathaniel Lord built his home almost 200 years ago little did he know that his forever home would be placed on the National Register of Historic Places and become one of the premier inns on the Maine coast. It may be hard for them not to visit or even stay as spirits.
Recently, Captain Lord’s Mansion Bed and Breakfast was recently bought when it was listed once again on the real estate market. It continues to be operated as a high-class inn, under Lake Hotels Corporation. It is listed as well on the Kennebunkport Captain’s Collection website, that showcases all the Captain-founded inns in Kennebunkport.
Apparently, a member of the original Lord family has moved back in and is very active indeed.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
People who experience the struggles as well as the joys of life in their forever home, sometimes like to stay there in their afterlife to enjoy in peace their fond memories as well as peace from their struggles.
Whaley House, CA (The Whaley Family finally exist here in peace).
Breakers Mansion, RI (The Matriarch of the Family is enjoying her home in peace).
Colonel Michael Swope Townhouse, VA (Colonel Swope feels like he has some control now as a spirit, and has found some peace in his home).
Captain Lord’s Mansion (As a widow, Phoebe Lord raised the couple’s nine children by herself. That must have been very challenging indeed; even with the Captain’s money to help her).
When the living restore a historic structure, spirits who love the place often become active there for various reasons.
Brumder Mansion, WI (As restoration and renovation was done to this structure, more and more spirits made their appearance).
Geiser Grand, OR (When the owners bought this dilapidated eye sore, the spirits couldn’t wait for it to be done, and moved in immediately to offer encouragement).
Waverley Plantation House, MS (When the Snow family bought this structure, it was in serious disrepair. As they progressed, spirits made themselves known benignly).
Captain Lord’s Mansion (When the beautifully restored Captain Lord’s Mansion first opened as bed and breakfast, the female spirit of Mrs. Lord became active indeed. Her spirit was very pleased with the beautiful restoration efforts and was drawn into her former beloved home to revisit her favorite pastimes and fond memories).
Sometimes a spirit makes itself known to the living, just to let them know that the living don’t own the entire space.
Captain Benson Bailey House Museum, NE (Spirit of Captain Benson Bailey lets the docents know that he is still there).
Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, ME (The heart-broken female spirit can’t help herself and shows affection to male guests).
The Compass Rose Inn (formerly The Colonial), MA (Spirits attached to this building let the living know they are there and have their special spots).
Captain Lord’s Mansion (Phoebe Lord’s former room was named Wisteria (now the Lincoln Room) which means “remembrance of the dead,” which may point to the fact that she has been haunting this room for a while. She may have been upset that the new owners changed the name of her room and rented it out to guests. Being a kind and loving spirit person, Phoebe decided to have a bit of fun with the living).
The Spirit of Phoebe Lord
She is often dressed in a long, flowing white nightgown or dressing robe. She feels no pressure to dress up.
She continues to enjoy the rooms and activities that she did while alive.
The spirit of Phoebe has been seen by the living standing or floating up or down on the spiral staircase that leads up to the cupola.
Phoebe enjoyed the glorious view from the cupola, located at the top of the structure.
Phoebe probably enjoys floating around the mansion, admiring all the antiques on display and in use from her era and all the restoration work accomplished.
The Lincoln Room
Once known as the Wisteria Room; the favorite bedroom of Phoebe where she stayed while alive.
An apparition of Phoebe drifts and floats through the Lincoln Bedroom Suite in the mansion, often when it is occupied by the living.
A young couple on their honeymoon got an unexpected thrill of seeing this night gown clad woman float through their bedroom, and then disappear into the wall.
Guests, staff and owners have all had personal experiences with this female spirit, Phoebe.
The former owners had paranormal investigators inside to investigate, and they had a webpage up about their spirit.
I can’t find any hard evidence shared online. Many paranormal enthusiasts have trespassed and were arrested. It is known who is haunting the mansion, so why aggravate her?
Most probably so! Phoebe is mostly a pleasant spirit, enjoying her home in her afterlife. She lets the living know that she is still there, sharing the house with them; despite the living renting out her room and changing its name! The spirit of Phoebe turned lemons into lemonade, and gets her chuckles surprising the living in a fun way!
The Captain Lord Mansion
6 Pleasant Street, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Captain Lord’s Mansion Inn is located near the corner of Pleasant St and Green St., in a residential neighborhood only a block from the beach and an eight minute walk from Dock Square. It is directly across the street from The Captain Fairfield Inn.
HAUNTED PLACES; The National Directory, by William Dennis Hauk, Puffin Books, 2002.
SOURCE: Distracted Wanderer blog website:
The Marvelous Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport: Part One, By Linda, April 30, 2011
Source: keenebunkport captains (.com)
SOURCE: TRIP ADVISOR WEBSITE:
Captain Lord Mansion at the Kennebunkport Captains Collection, and photos.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr