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Free Lecture Series Starts January 30

cemetery artwork

Saturday, January 30
10:00am – 11:00am
Maine Historical Society

The first of 3 lectures in our winter series is less than 2 weeks away! Join us on January 30 at Maine Historical Society at 10:00am for "Native Americans of Casco Bay" by Emerson Woods Baker II. He is a history professor at Salem State College whose fieldwork and research has centered on Maine, a place where English, French and Native American cultures collided. He will also speak about Native American burial practices. Refreshments will be available and there will be a question and answer session after the talk.

In case of inclement weather, listen to the voice message at 207-318-2982.

Mark your calendars for the 3 lectures sponsored by Spirits Alive! Author Jim Nelson will talk in February, and Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth will speak in March. Find out more about the lecture series.

Grant Received!

Spirits Alive has received $2,000 award from the Edward H. Daveis Benevolent Fund that is administrated by the Maine Community Foundation. This will be combined with a $10,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation and used to assist us in funding the development of a Master Plan. The plan will analyze all aspects of the cemetery and place it in its historical context, ultimately to serve as the blueprint for the cemetery's historic preservation.

Cemetery Celebrity: Reverend Thomas Smith

The reverend was called to the First Parish congregation in 1827. He was given a salary that equaled 1/3 of the town's budget in addition to a house that was considered the finest in town, 3 acres that were fenced in, and free firewood. In exchange, he pastored the church for over 60 years. The parish was large; he served not only religious needs, but also the medical needs of the people. It was said that he was known for his money-making schemes that included buying old land titles — this might be how he came to own the land that included the now Eastern Cemetery. The reverend swatted requests by the town to sell the property and it was forced to create "Funeral Lane" as a way to get to the grounds from Congress Street. It wasn't until he was on his death bed that Mr. Smith gave up the property. The deed read, "... convey all the land I now own, possess or claim, on the southeast side of Smith [Congress] Street, between the stone wall of the neck." to the town of Falmouth. The Reverend Thomas Smith passed away 19 days later on May 25, 1795.

Become a Spirits Alive Friend Today

Help Spirits Alive keep the Eastern Cemetery alive for generations to come and join as a Friend. For only $25 a year ($40 for families, $15 for students or elders), you can help:

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