This house was built in 1825, by George W. Bourne, a prominent 19th-century shipbuilder who constructed his vessels on the Kennebunk River directly behind the home. It has won the distinction as the most photographed house in Maine, but is better known as the Wedding Cake House, for its frilly Gothic-inspired architecture, as well as the romantic folklore surrounding it.
The legend of the house is that shortly after his wedding Captain Bourne had to ship out to sea. To apologize to his bride, he built the house as a wedding gift that would keep on giving.
This story is apparently apocryphal, but Bourne and his wife did live in the home just after their marriage. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the skilled ship builder constructed the entire house with his own two hands.
The home, which is sometimes open to the public (often as a fundraiser for a charitable cause) was occupied by three generations of Bournes before being sold outside of the family in 1983. It remains a strong tourist attraction, even if just to drive past to view the architecture.