Back in the early 1980s, Tom and Kate Chappell acquired a historic estate in the heart of Kennebunk, a charming coastal city in the southern reaches of Maine. There, in what is often referred to as a “true piece of Kennebunk Maine’s history,” the founders of Tom’s of Maine raised five children who are now grown and married, and they became widely known as artists, authors and philanthropists.
The couple also sold a majority stake of the successful natural oral and personal care product company that they launched together in 1970 to Colgate-Palmolive in 2006 for a whopping $100 million. Now, 40 years later, the Chappells are finally ready to part with their longtime home, putting the 20-room structure up for sale at just over $2 million.
Originally built for merchant Nathaniel Frost in 1799, and meticulously restored and upgraded during the Chappell’s tenure, the Federal-style premises were also occupied at one time by New Hampshire Sen. Charles Cutts, who was elected as the U.S. Secretary of State in 1814.
Sited on almost an acre of land dotted with organic gardens bearing apple trees, herbs and vegetables, the property includes a main house and guest quarters—for a total of six bedrooms and a matching number of baths in nearly 7,500 square feet of living space boasting no less than eight wood-burning fireplaces throughout. There’s also an attached three-car garage that resembles a big red barn.
Especially standing out on the main level is a double-height entry foyer displaying a curving traditional staircase, which flows to a living room on one side and formal dining room on the other. A traditional arched door off the foyer leads to the rear of the home, which holds a classic kitchen outfitted with leathered granite countertops, a French Lacanche range, slate farmhouse sink and walk-in pantry.
An adjacent octagonal-shaped sunroom is currently being used as a casual dining area, and sports a vaulted wood ceiling, freestanding gas stove, and sliding glass doors spilling out to a wood deck and grassy courtyard; and elsewhere are an office, a family room and study, plus a trio of upstairs en-suite bedrooms that each have a fireplace.
As for the guest quarters, two separate apartments come complete with a total of three bedrooms, as well as their own living room and kitchen. The property also is powered with solar panels, and warmed by a geothermal heat system and energy-efficient heat pumps; and per the listing held by Andi Robinson and Elaine Prendergast of Sotheby’s International Realty, the Chappell family likes to say, “The home is all natural.”
Click here for more photos of 99 Main Street.