Eastern Cemetery
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Eastern Cemetery

Portland, Cumberland County , Maine, USA

About

  • Get directions 224 Congress St.
    Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, 04101 USA
  • Cemetery ID: 89841

Eastern Cemetery is Portland, Maine's oldest public space. Designated in 1668, it was originally called the town Burying Ground and was open to the townspeople to bury family wherever they could find an unused plot. By 1795 the burying ground had expanded to over three acres. The primary area was reserved for the majority whites of European ancestry; separate sections along the cemetery's far edges were set aside for Quakers, African Americans and Catholics. In 1795 the landscape doubled in size to its current 7 acres. It quickly filled to capacity and by the end of the 1800s few burials were allowed unless a family already owned a tomb or family lot.

The name change to Eastern Cemetery came about by 1830 when Portland opened a second public burying ground on the west end of the peninsula. Today the cemetery is being restored in a partnership between the city of Portland and a non-profit friends of the cemetery group known as Spirits Alive. Over 500 gravestones have been repaired and/or cleaned by this dedicated group. Eastern Cemetery contains a wonderful collection of Massachusetts-made gravestones dating back 300 years as well as hundreds of markers carved by Portland's first resident stone cutter Bartlett Adams (1776 - 1828). Generally from spring through fall the Congress Street gate is open daily and the public is invited to take a self-guided tour (daily guided tours are usually offered in season). For more information, please visit www.spiritsalive.org

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Photos

  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Cemetery ID: 89841