Walker’s Point houses the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Photo by Kurt Michael. March 14, 2016.
By Lynn R. Mitchell
Walker’s Point is a place that has entertained presidents and world leaders, and served as the summer White House for an American president. To see the wind-swept rocky shoreline and homes is to see history in this tiny coastal town in southern Maine, a history that began long before the piece of land became part of the Bush and Walker family life stories.
The Bush Compound, one of the most famous family summer homes in America that is in use from mid-May until mid-October each year, takes in the scenic Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport. It is named after President George H.W. Bush’s grandfather, David Davis Walker, and his son George H. Walker who erected the first homes in 1902. Ownership since then has never left the possession of the Walker-Bush families, and it is currently owned by George H.W. Bush who shares it with members of his family tree.
The most prominent home in the compound that stands out in photos is the main, multi-story, New England shingle style house that includes nine bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, office, den, four sitting rooms, and is surrounded by decks and patios that take in the ocean views. There is also a four-car garage, pool, tennis court, boat house, and dock, as well as a guest house and “bungalows” belonging to family members.
The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust erected this anchor memorial near Walker’s Point in honor of President George H.W. Bush: “For our Friend and 41st President George H.W. Bush. An ‘Anchor to Windward.’ As he was for our nation and world during four years of tumultuous and historic change, so, too, has Kennebunkport served, in the words of St. Paul, ‘as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast’ to him. Presented by those who love him as much as he loves this special place.”
Walker’s Point has not only been the scene of summer vacations and special events for the Bush family but has also been the location for entertaining many notable guests over the years. While serving as the “summer White House,” President George H.W. Bush hosted British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union.
Other guests have included British Prime Minister John Major, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Billy Graham and his wife Ruth, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as other well-known names.
The citizens of the town of Kennebunkport have embraced the Bush family, and the Bush family has embraced the town for more than 150 years as summer residents and patriotic Americans living and playing at the historic Walker’s Point.
Photos by Kurt Michael
March 14, 2016