Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery
Eastern Cemetery view from the south
Learn about Eastern Cemetery residents, history, monuments, tombs, stones and more!

Tour Season Continues!

Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays
11:00am to 12:00pm

5:30pm to 6:30pm

Tickets: $10 ($5 for seniors and students)

Join us as we walk the grounds of the oldest historic landscape in Portland, Maine. Our trained guides cover the cemetery's history, prominent historical figures, and early gravestone art. We'd love to have you, and you can even purchase tickets before the tour! All funds go directly back into the cemetery's conservation and educational programs. If you can't make the regularly-scheduled times, let us know! We may be able to arrange a special time for you at no extra charge.

More Stone Conservation Days

Saturdays, September 10 & 24
8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Rain Dates: Sundays

Join us on a cemetery adventure conserving and cleaning stones. We practice basic stone conservation, and all volunteers are welcome! We suggest layers, sturdy shoes, and head covering (it gets quite sunny and warm up our hill!) Your own work gloves are a bonus, but we have extras if you need them. Find how we do conservation! Be ready to learn how you can help us in Eastern Cemetery or help improve the stones in your own local burial ground. Email Martha to be put on the stone conservation email list.

Phinehas Jones headstone
Slate headstone in Eastern Cemetery for Phinehas Jones by Barb Hager

Subterranean Celebrity: Phinehas Jones

Died: November 5, 1743

Phinehas (or Phineas) Jones, moved with his father from Worcester, MA, at about age 25. They amassed a fortune and became lenders to many people in town. He worked as a surveyor, but he also served as a selectman and a legislator. His estate records included a house, barn, wharf, land, furniture, livestock, clothing, 725 gallons of molasses, 107 gallons of rum, and 176 gallons of brandy. Mr. Jones was also a slave-owner as a black man named Cambridge was also listed as one of his possessions. He had a wife named Anne and 3 daughters: Hannah, Lucy and Anne. According to his will, written 4 days before his death when he was “very weak in Body but of perfect mind and memory,” he left everything to them.

Here lyes Buried the
Body of Mr
who departed this life the
5th of November AD 1743,
in the 39th Year of his Age.

His beautifully-carved slate headstone includes a winged death’s head with a pair of pretty crossed-bones over the top of his skull (kind of like a bow!) The border is carved with an embellished floral motif, and each shoulder is buttoned with a target-like trio of circles.

Special thanks to Barb Hager for the information about Mr. Jones. 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.

Gravestones in Southern Maine: The Genius of Bartlett Adams

A book by Ron Romano, Spirits Alive volunteer and Bartlett Adams expert

If you're interested in learning more about the life and times of Bartlett Adams, the Eastern Cemetery's most prolific gravestone cutter, we've got your book! In addition to learning about Adams and his fellow stonecutters, you will discover so much about the Eastern Cemetery, its history and the history of those interred within it. 
Find copies of the book at local Portland, Maine, bookstores or order from your favorite online retailer.

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!

Help the Eastern Cemetery

Support the work of Spirits Alive with your giving

You can help Spirits Alive keep the Eastern Cemetery alive for generations to come. 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.