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17 October 2006

Preseident George W. Bush prefers spending the month of August in the 100-degree heat at his Central Texas ranch, seven miles down an empty road from Crawford, a one-stoplight town. Kennebunkport, for all its cool, rocky beauty, has the constraints of family — and a crowded resort town with shops like the Copper Candle and the Snappy Turtle. Walker's Point, the promontory on which the enormous stone and brown-shingled Bush family home sits, is a striking display of the patrician New England roots that Mr. Bush has spent his political life avoiding.

It was the current President Bush's great-grandfather, George Herbert Walker, who bought Walker's Point in 1902, and then in 1905 finished what the family has always called the "big house." The house passed on to Mr. Walker's son, Herbert Walker; after he died, then-Vice President Bush bought the house in 1981 from Herbert Walker's wife.

One thing the current President Bush did not do was go for a run along the craggy bluffs of Ocean Avenue, prime jogging territory, which would have meant shutting down the road and further snarling the already backed-up traffic in town — something his parents, who live here from June to October, are loath to do.

On his 1,600-acre ranch in Texas, Mr. Bush can run wherever he likes.

Bush Maine Perch

An aerial dating from the 1990s:


Looking East

Weirdly, Google retained an  overview image of the Perch when panning down to the DC area which appeared at a couple of zoom levels but not all.