Kennebunk (typically pronounced among locals but often /'kɛnəbʌŋk/ or /kɛnə'bʌŋk/ among non-locals) is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 10,476 at the 2000 census. Including Kennebunkport the population totals 14,196 people. Kennebunk is home to several beaches, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, the 1799 Kennebunk Inn, many historic sea captain's homes, and the Nature Conservancy Blueberry Barrens, (known locally as the Blueberry Plains) with 1,500 acres (6 km²) of nature trails and Blueberry Fields.
First settled about 1620, the town developed as a trading and, later, shipbuilding and shipping center with light manufacturing. It was part of the town of Wells until 1820, when it incorporated as a separate town. "Kennebunk, the only village in the world so named," was featured on a large locally famous sign attached to the Kesslen Shoe Mill on Route One. To the Abenaki Indians, Kennebunk meant "the long cut bank," presumably the long bank behind Kennebunk Beach. Kennebunk's coastline is divided into three major sections. Mother's Beach, Middle Beach or Rocky Beach, and Gooches Beach or Long Beach. Separate from Kennebunk Beach is secluded Parson's Beach, a quiet alternative to the summer crowds.
The town is a popular summer tourist destination. Kennebunk contains fine examples of early architecture, the most noted of which is the Wedding Cake House, a Federal-style dwelling extensively decorated with scroll saw Gothic trim. This was added to the house for his wife of many years by George Washington Bourne late in his life, and not as legend has it by a ship captain for a young bride lost at sea. Local economy is tourism based. The headquarters for the natural health-care product manufacturer Tom's of Maine is located in Kennebunk. Many residents commute to Portland, to New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
The Lafayette Elm was a tree which was planted to commemorate General Lafayette's 1825 visit to Kennebunk. It became famous for its age, size, and survival of the Dutch elm disease that destroyed the hundreds of the other elms that once lined Kennebunk's streets. The elm is featured on the town seal. The restored Kesslen Shoe Mill has been renamed the Lafayette Center. Kennebunk is home to two of the state's oldest banks -- Ocean Bank (1854) and Kennebunk Savings Bank (1871). Only Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution (1827) and Bangor Savings Bank (1852) are older. Summer Street was Maine's first Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2000, a group of students teamed up with parents and local community members to found The New School, a small alternative high school, with students coming from as close as Kennebunk and Wells and as far away as Portland and Somersworth. The school is accredited by the State of Maine and the first group of students graduated in June 2001. The New School has a focus on community-based learning.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.5 square miles (92.0 km²), of which, 35.1 square miles (90.9 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.18%) is water. Kennebunk is drained by the Kennebunk River and Mousam River.
There are a few ways to get in and out of Kennebunk:
Amtrak also goes through Kennebunk, but does not stop to pick people up.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,476 people, 4,229 households, and 2,901 families residing in the town. The population density was 298.5 people per square mile (115.3/km²). There were 4,985 housing units at an average density of 142.1/sq mi (54.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.04% White, 0.18% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.51% of the population.
There were 4,229 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $50,914, and the median income for a family was $59,712. Males had a median income of $42,417 versus $25,788 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,181. About 2.9% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.
Note: TD Banknorth N.A. is changing its name to TD Commerance Bank after its merger with Commerance Bank. The legal name for the company will be TD Bank USA, N.A. Visit TDBanknorth.com for more information.
Note: Rivergreen Bank in Kennebunk posted a merger agreement with Savings Bank of Maine. The Agreement is to have Rivergreen Bank merge into Savings Bank of Maine, under the title of Savings Bank of Maine. Rivergreen bank was established in 2002 by a local group of investors that wanted to bring local commercial banking to Kennebunk, after the merger of Ocean Bank (then Ocean National Bank) with Chittenden Corporation.
Note: Both Ocean Bank and Kennebunk Savings Bank been serving Kennebunk for over 100 years. Ocean Bank from 1854 and Kennebunk Savings since 1871.