Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery | eNews, February 2014

Skip Navigation

Portland's First Stonecutter, Bartlett Adams: Lecture

Saturday, February 22, 2014
1:30pm – 3:00pm
USM Wishcamper Center

Decorative Headstone Carvings by Bartlett Adams

Various Bartlett Adams Eastern Cemetery headstone carvings.

Lecturer Ron Romano, a tour guide and member of the Spirits Alive Board, will present original research that explores the life and times of Bartlett Adams in Portland, and reveals the scope and impact of his work at Portland’s historic Eastern Cemetery and beyond.

Read more about Bartlett Adams in our October 2009 eNews.

For more information about the event, visit our Winter Lecture Series page.

Subterranean Celebrity: Daniel Manley

Died October 5, 1837

Manley headstone sketches

Headstone sketches from the transcription records of the Manleys.

In 1818, the Cumberland Bank's vault was found to be almost completely empty. Suspicion was directed to a store owner named Daniel Manley. Manley wound up leading the authorities to where he had buried the stolen money (reported to be over $200,000), and was subsequently sentenced to 12 years in prison. Because of this caper, he has been dubbed "Portland's First Bank Robber." Another sad note about his life is that his wife Mehitable had died only a few months prior, leaving him with 2 children: Charles Daniel (who would have been 7 years old) and Emeline. Manley is buried next to his wife and a few plots down from his daughter, Catharine F. who died in 1813 at age 6.

Unfortunately, there's not much left of his rectangular marble headstone's inscription, and there seems to be no trace of any decorative carving. Mehitable's headstone is made of slate and includes an urn and willow decoration (most likely Bartlett Adams' work). Her epitaph reads:

Great is our loss, yet her superior gain,
consoles our grief & mitigates our pain,
the soul that oft had walk'd the ethereal road,
pleas'd with its summons took its flight to God.

Note the discrepancies in the headstones and burial records of name spellings. Even in the transcription sketches things get a bit wonky at times!

Save the Date: Portland's Forgotten Cemeteries Roundtable

Saturday, March 29, 2014
1:30pm – 3:00pm
USM Wishcamper Center

Webster Tomb Before vs. Now Decrepit

Photo on the left from Maine Historical Society scrapbook shows the Webster tabletop tomb in the 1900s. On the right, current state of the Webster tomb, 2013.

Save the date for the last offering in our series: “The Status and Future of Portland's Forgotten Cemeteries.” A panel will discuss several historic small burial grounds and what is takes to restore them to our cultural landscape. Panelists:

Association for Gravestone Studies Regional Meeting

Sunday, May 18, 2014
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Maine Jewish Museum

Eskimo Headstone

Winged "Eskimo" face from Samuel Cobb's headstone by Barbara Hager

Spirits Alive is proud to help organize the spring Association for Gravestone Studies Northeast New England Chapter Meeting. Though the meeting 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. The meeting is free and open to the public.

$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:

Back to Top