View of the Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine

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Spirits Alive is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Portland, Maine‚Äôs historic Eastern Cemetery through a range of activities including promotion and education.

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200th Anniversary Ceremony for the Captains

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The box tombs of the captains in the Eastern Cemetery

The box tombs of the English and American captains.

In conjunction with Maine Historical Society and the Maine Military Historical Society, Spirits Alive invites you to a graveside memorial service honoring the captains in killed in the battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise. The American captain, William Burrows, and the British captain, Samuel Blyth were each mortally wounded during the battle and brought to the Eastern Cemetery to be buried next to one another in perpetuity. An American Lieutenant, Kervin Waters, who died as a result of wounds received in battle, was buried next to Burrows as well.

A week of events around the 200th Anniversary for the Battle of the Boxer & Enterprise is planned.

Eastern Cemetery Tours!

Through October 13
Wednesdays 1:30 pm, Saturdays 10:30 am & Sundays 1:30 pm

touring the Eastern Cemetery

Ron explaining more about slate stones in the Eastern Cemetery. Photo by H. Doggett

This year Spirits Alive is offering tours 3 days a week! Come take a stroll with us through the 6-acre site. Learn about those interred, the art on their stones, and the city in which they died. Tours last 1-1/2 hours and are weather-dependent. Please be a little early so that guides can make change for you. Tickets are $7 adults, $4 students and seniors, and free for children 12 and under. We are excited to see you!

Halloween Event: Save the Date

October 24-27 & 30-31, 2013
6:00pm – 8:00pm

specters walk down Funeral Lane

Specters take a stroll down Funeral Lane, October 2012. Photo by H. Doggett

Plan in October to attend Walk Among the Shadows and hear the tales of an all-new group of cemetery spirits. Our ghosts this year will include those who had experience living in the time of the Civil War including a journalist, a soldier, a war secretary, an abolitionist, a musician, and a mayor.

Subterranean Celebrities: The Murch Family

Almira died September 30, 1881
Josiah died October 9, 1883

We were contacted earlier this year by a descendant of the Murch family to find out how much it would take to straighten and restore the marble stones in the family plot. We decided to take the work on as a volunteer project and in one stone conservation day, we made a lot of progress! According to his great-great granddaughter, Josiah was a shoemaker, and he and Almira had several children who have stones in the Eastern Cemetery. It's interesting that their son Henry moved to Massachusetts and had a business card that read, “Marble Works—Monumental & Cemetery Works a Specialty.” Makes you wonder if he made their headstones.

Before and after

Father, Josiah Murch, Born at Gorham White Rock, January 3, 1798,
Died in East Deering, October 9, 1883. Photo by H. Doggett

Before and after

The Murch family plot before conservation. Notice the large lilac bush. Photo by H. Doggett

Before and after

The Murch family plot after conservation. Stones have been cleaned and reset along with footstones. Josiah's headstone awaits conservation in order to attach it to his base. Photo by H. Doggett

Evergreen Cemetery Workday

Saturday, September 21, 2013
9:00am – 3:00pm

TaMara Conde is back in Maine this year conducting a conservation work shop for our friends at Evergreen Cemetery. Come out and learn the basics of proper cleaning, documentation, conservation, and restoration of old gravestones. Register for the Evergreen workday for only $10 today!

$5 Friendships!

Support the Eastern Cemetery with your giving

For only $5, you can help Spirits Alive keep the Eastern Cemetery alive for generations to come and join as a Friend. Through your support, you can help us, an ALL-VOLUNTEER organization, to continue to:

Go to: to take advantage of this offer today!

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