The late Stephen Spofford, Kennebunk Town Historian. is remembered. Courtesy photo

KENNEBUNK — Stephen Spofford loved history and the town where he lived, and the two were very much intertwined.

He was Kennebunk’s Town Historian; he served on the board of the Brick Store Museum for 20 years. He was treasurer of the Kennebunk Bicentennial Committee.

He was the guy who could tell you who had built the 1850s Cape Cod house you bought last year, and very likely most of the people who had previously lived there.

Spofford, 53, a fifth generation Kennebunk resident, died at home in his sleep on Nov. 24. A memorial service was conducted on Saturday at South Congregational Church.

His passing and his contributions to his community were noted by the Kennebunk Select Board on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

“What we will most remember him for was his passion for the history of the town of Kennebunk, his encyclopedic knowledge,” said Select Board Chair Blake Baldwin.


Baldwin noted that the Bicentennial Committee “leaned heavily” on Spofford for his knowledge,. He said his passing leaves a gap.

Kennebunk Town Manager Mike Pardue said he’d sat across the table from Spofford at a Fire Society dinner a few weeks before.

“I casually asked about the society in general,” recalled Pardue. “What I walked away with was totally amazing — 10 to 12 minutes of very intricate detail. His (knowledge of) history will be sorely missed, as his friendship will be. He was forever a friend to this community.”

A member of the Kennebunk High School class of 1984, Spofford returned to Kennebunk after earning degrees in political science and history. He worked at Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District, and was supervisor in the meter department, a position he held for nearly 30 years, according to his obituary.

“A keeper of the memories, Steve had an incredible knack for remembering the history of Kennebunk and its citizens, and readily shared them with all who took an interest in listening,” his obituary states. “He currently served as Kennebunk Town Historian, putting together several talks on town history, brought the ‘history on the street’ to Kennebunk, where many signboards were placed to share information on local historical buildings and historical sites with visitors, and was anxiously anticipating celebrating Kennebunk’s Bicentennial next year. He brought the history of the Kennebunks to the schools through talks and presentations.”

Brick Store Museum Director Cynthia Walker said Spofford was a frequent visitor at the museum.

She said when people would ask questions, often random queries, he’d respond promptly with the answer.

Aside from his knowledge of history, Walker described Spofford as a regular guy — a fellow who grew up in town and was kind to everyone.

“He brought life and vitality to the museum every day,” said Walker.

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