Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery | eNews, April 2014

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Spring Association for Gravestone Studies Northeast New England Chapter Meeting

Sunday, May 18, 2014
10:30AM to 12:00PM
Eastern Cemetery: Tour

1:00PM to 4:00PM 
Maine Jewish Museum: Presentations

Mary Freeman's headstone

Mary Freeman's Headstone Showcases Carving by Daniel Hastings

Spirits Alive is proud to help organize this meeting that will take place up the street at the Maine Jewish Museum. There will be a tour (weather permitting) of the Eastern Cemetery. There will be several 15-20 minute presentations on cemetery-related topics from African Americans in Portland cemeteries to decorative stone details. The meeting is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to segaljl@aol.com.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Girl Scouts helped us put out flags in 2011

Clean-up Workday

Saturday, May 10
8:30AM to 12:30PM

Here's your chance to get inside the gates and beautify the grounds in preparation for the summer season! Master gardeners will be on hand to direct you if you need it, but mulching and trash pick-up are on the list of tasks. You don't need to stay the whole time, but come and go as you please.

Flag Veteran Graves for Memorial Day

Saturday, May 24
10:00AM to 10:30AM

Memorial Day is coming and all those who passed in war will be noted. It doesn't take long when you have a good group of people. A list of veterans will be available.

Other Events and Opportunities

Some Dates and Times are TBD

Subterranean Celebrity: Martin O'Riley

Died June 14, 1843

Cenotaph of Martin O'Riley, by Ben Gross

On St. Patrick's Day, we posted an image to our Facebook page of the headstone of Martin O'Riley as well as a partial inscription. The inscription came from what could be read at the time the transcription of this stone (during our stone survey project). Lucky us! The husband of his descendant saw our post and gave us information about who he was thereby solving the mystery.

This stone is technically a cenotaph (marker for an empty grave) as he was moved to his family's (Riley) plot in Calvary Cemetery in South Portland. We aren't sure if the children mentioned were also moved or were ever buried here. Before he was in Portland, he lived in New Brunswick, Canada. The last line of the inscription is still illegible, but the rest reads:

In memory of
Martin O'Riley,
who died
June 14, 1843,
AEt. 47.
Native of Ireland, County
Tipperary Parish of Annacarty.
Also of four children.

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