Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery
Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery | eNews, June 2015
1876 Map Detail of the Eastern Cemetery
Detail of the Eastern Cemetery from the 1876 Bird's Eye View of Portland, Maine Maine Memory Network

Walking Tours

July 8 to October 18
Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays
11:00am to Noon

These 1-hour tours are led by trained volunteers, who cover the cemetery's history, prominent historical figures, and early gravestone art. Off-schedule private tours are also available, at no extra charge.

This year, you can purchase tickets ahead of time! $10 adults, $5 students, $5 seniors over 65, and children under 12 free.

Thomas Bolton's headstone clamped while the  repair dries
Thomas Bolton's headstone, mid-repair, June 2015. Photo by Ron Romano

Stone Conservation Workdays

July to September
8:30am to 12:30pm

We will conduct 2 large team efforts each month. All are welcome, even with no experience. We will train you on cleaning and on simple stone repairs such as resetting and mortaring. Mark your calendar for these Saturdays (Sundays in case of rain).

  • July 11 & 18
  • August 1 & 15
  • September 12 & 19

Find more information on stone conservation workdays as well as a step-by-step process of working on stones complete with photos.

Janet cleans the Eastern Cemetery of litter
Janet is so happy about removing litter from the Eastern Cemetery! Photo by Leana Good-Simpson

Gardening Workday

Saturday, July 25, 2015
8:30am to noon

Join us for a morning of cleaning and gardening in the Eastern Cemetery! We'll spruce up (get it?) around the trees and bushes with mulch, pick up trash and do general gardening. Bring your work gloves, rakes or tools. If you don't, we will provide them. Let us know if you have questions or want to RSVP.
Marble headstone of John Taber
John Taber's simple marble marker. Photo by Ron Romano

Subterranean Celebrity: John Taber

Died May 6, 1811

John Taber arrived in Portland in the early 1800s and was a successful merchant—importing and exporting goods through his trade business with Europe. He found a unique niche in Portland when he began issuing paper currency which could be exchanged by the holder of the note for silver. Because the local economy was flooded with counterfeit currency, his paper money proved popular, and his financial business thrived. Unfortunately, with the onset of President Jefferson’s trade embargo in 1807, the local economy failed. John Taber was busted.

Taber's stone is located in the “Friends’ Ground” of Eastern Cemetery, as he was a Quaker. Living an austere life with few material items or adornments, it’s no surprise that his marble gravemarker is small and only shows his name and death year. Read a short Taber biography to find out more about him. His wife, Elizabeth, is buried 2 plots down from him.

Special thanks to Ron Romano for researching Mr. Taber!

You can suggest a subterranean celebrity! Just send an email—it doesn't take much to make a nice little story. An index of all of our Subterranean Celebrities is available.

Ask Amazon to Donate to Spirits Alive

If you're an Amazon shopper, here's an easy way to support your favorite historic Maine cemetery:

  • Go to smile.amazon.com
  • Enter "Spirits Alive" in the box
  • Choose the non-profit in Portland, Maine from the list

Voila! A portion of all of your purchases through smile.amazon.com will go to our efforts to support, conserve and promote this historic outdoor museum. Thank you!

$5 Friendships Help the Eastern Cemetery

Support the work of Spirits Alive 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:

  • Keep the gates open – encouraging the community to explore its open and safe green space
  • Offer education about the cemetery and its residents to the public – through tours, lectures, and events
  • Encourage and support the city in keeping the site clean and safe for visitors of all ages
  • Preserve this incredible outdoor museum and sacred historic landscape
We are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Portland, Maine’s historic Eastern Cemetery through a range of activities including promotion and education.

© 2015 Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery
PO Box 18209, Portland, ME 04112-8209