Kennebunkport Harbor
Review and History

Kennebunkport Harbor is located on Maine's Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Kennebunk River in York County. It is about 28 nautical miles (38 kilometers or 24 miles by air) southwest of Portland, Maine, and about 76 nautical miles (122 kilometers or 66 miles) north-northeast of Boston, Massachusetts. Kennebunkport Harbor is part of the Portland metropolitan area. Kennebunkport Harbor thrives by being a popular summer resort. It is perhaps best known as the location of President George Bush's summer home. In 2010, almost 3500 people called Kennebunkport Harbor home.

Port History

Before Europeans began to settle the area that would become Kennebunkport Harbor, the Pennacook people lived in villages along the Merrimack River valley. As early as 1620, Europeans brought epidemics that reduced the Pennacook population from some 12 thousand to around 2500.

The rounds of epidemics continued through the mid- to late-1600s. By 1675, the population of the Pennacook people had shrunk to 1200. The majority of Pennacook joined the Abenaki in Maine or in St. Francois du Lac, Quebec. While most traces of the Pennacook as a tribe had vanished by the 1730, those who stayed in Maine eventually merged with the Abenaki people.

First named Cape Porpus, the future Kennebunkport Harbor was incorporated in 1653 under the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, attacks by the indigenous peoples caused the village to be abandoned by 1689. It was not repopulated by Europeans until the early 1700s.

As the town became more involved in and dependent on ship-building and the trades, it was renamed to Kennebunkport in 1821. Kennebunkport Harbor had become a popular summer spot by the 1870s. Summer colonies appeared in Cape Arundel, Goose Rocks, and Cape Porpoise. Cape Porpoise, however, is also a working fishing harbor.

The family home built by George Herbert Walker in the early 20th Century in Kennebunkport Harbor became the summer home for US President George H.W. Bush in the 1980s. While he was President, Bush received many world leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev at the Bush compound on Kennebunkport Harbor's Walkers Point.

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