Ask any Kennebunkport local where to stay to enjoy the most relaxing and private travel experience in town and the answer will invariably be Maine Stay Inn & Cottages. Since 1946, our romantic bed and breakfast has welcomed guests to Kennebunkport for unforgettable romantic getaways and seaside vacations.
The Maine Stay Inn was built as a private residence circa 1860 by merchant sea captain Melville Walker on land provided to him by his father William H. Walker.
Captain Walker transferred the title to his wife, Abbie, following their marriage. Abbie often traveled with her husband at sea, bringing along their small children. The property then passed to brother-in-law Hiram Fairfield on October 4, 1876, who in turn left it to his wife, Adelaide, (Melville’s sister) and their son Harry.
In 1891, the property passed from the founding family for the first time when Adelaide sold it to the Heuvelman family. The Heuvelmans held the property until 1899. At that time, they sold it to George Little, an executive with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.
In September of 1901, according to the Kennebunkport Historical Society’s record, Mr. Little began construction “on his new house on Maine Street.” This reference is considered to mean major renovations to the 1860 house. That’s because historians believe the dominant architectural character is more comparable to the 1860s as opposed to the 1900s.
This belief is further supported by various remnants, artifacts and newspapers discovered between the attic eaves when the floors were lifted in 1983 to insulate. The Kennebunkport Historical Society’s records show that electric lights were installed in 1905 at the Little’s on Maine Street, then known as “The Maples.” Then the title to the house and property passed to Senator Wickes of New York in 1924.
Becoming “The Maine Stay”
The next owners gave the inn its current name “The Maine Stay” and opened it as a guest house. The first cottage was added to the property in1954 with several updates being made to the property throughout the rest of the 20th century (including the addition of breakfast) that gave the inn the look and feel it's known for today.
The design of the main house is considered to be square block Italianate, contoured in a low-hip roof style with additions and renovations tastefully added over the years. In the early 1900s, Queen Anne revival architecture was introduced to the inn with the construction of the “now famous” suspended spiral partially flying staircase, starburst crystal glass windows, ornately carved mantels and moldings as well as additions of bay windows and the wrap-around porch.
Not uncommon to the home of a sea captain is the cupola, which provided distant views to the harbor and sea beyond. The cupola was later outfitted for making salt-water taffy and is now known as the “candy cupola.”
The Maine Stay was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.