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This local history museum is located within a former dry goods store established in 1825 by Willliam Lord. Lord's great-granddaughter Edith Cleaves Barry established a small museum on the second floor of the store in 1936. The museum is one of the only museums established in the Great Depression that is still in operation. The small upstairs museum grew over time and now occupies several adjacent buildings that are connected to the former store. Today, the museum offers exhibits drawn from a growing collection of over 70,000 artifacts.


  • The museum dates back to 1936 and is located inside an antebellum dry goods store that was unique for its brick construction.
  • The museum includes exhibits of local artifacts and works from regional and national artists.

Lord's use of brick when most other buildings of this type were made of local timber demonstrated Lord's ambition and he rose to become one of the wealthiest men in the community. Merchant and ship owner Lord died in 1873 and ownership of the building eventually passed to his granddaughter, Edith Cleaves Barry, who established the museum in 1936.

Barry was an artist who trained with Claude Monet in France during the early 1910s. In 2017, the museum staff discovered a hidden painting by Barry hid beneath another painting of hers while digitizing artwork. The work depicted a portrait of an unnamed woman in the 1940s, and it was hidden under "The Start of the East Side Parade" painting by Barry.

The museum includes exhibits of artifacts that date back centuries, including items recovered from area shipwrecks. The museum's collection of art includes works by Thomas Badger, John Brewster, Jr., Abbott Fuller Graves, Louis Norton, and Hannah Skeele. The museum also maintains a collection of local artwork, including an impressive collection of quilts, records, photographs, and many more. The museum inspires the community by connecting the past to the present through exhibits and artifacts that make the past come alive. Archives are available online and within the museum including diaries, maps, photographs, genealogy files, and artist files.

“NEMA Museums New England.” New England Museum Association :: Brick Store Museum, nemanet.org/museums/brick-store-museum/

“Brick Store Museum.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Nov. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brick_Store_Museum.

“The Brick Store Museum - Art and History in the Kennebunks.” Captain Jefferds Inn (Kennebunkport, Maine), 23 Jan. 2019, captainjefferdsinn.com/blog/brick-store-museum/.

Walker, Cynthia. Museum Discovers Hidden Painting, Brick Store Museum. September 2nd 2017. Accessed December 5th 2019. http://www.brickstoremuseum.org/museum-discovers-hidden-painting/.

Walker, Cynthia . The Future of History, The Brick Store Museum. August 17th 2017. Accessed December 5th 2019. http://www.brickstoremuseum.org/the-future-of-history/.

Mission & History, Brick Store Museum. Accessed December 5th 2019. http://www.brickstoremuseum.org/history/.