Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery
Front gate and side of Tate House in 2013

Tate House, 2013 by Magicpiano via Wikimedia Commons

2017 Winter Lecture Series

Julie Larry

March 25, 2017
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Wishcamper Center, USM
Bedford Street, Portland, ME

This illustrated talk is the last of 3 in a series that has taught us how the history of early New England helped shape the Portland of today.

Julie Larry, Director of Advocacy for Greater Portland Landmarks, will discuss how Portland’s early settlers transplanted the building traditions and culture of Northern Europe into the wilds of Maine. Though modern development now surrounds these early settlements, Portland’s colonial roots are still apparent off the peninsula in the area of Stroudwater and neighborhoods off of the Back Cove. She will inform us about what the surviving colonial homes tell us about life in the 18th century.

  • Lectures are free, though donations are gratefully accepted.
  • The events are co-sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science at the University of Southern Maine (USM).
  • Free parking is available in the USM Bedford Street parking garage.

Read more about past lectures.

Headstone of Daniel Mountfort
Mountfort family tomb, facing south. Photo by H. Doggett

Subterranean Celebrity: Daniel Mountfort

Died: December 23, 1839

Daniel Mountfort lashed himself in the mizzen rigging as the Barque Lloyd went down in a cold, angry Massachusetts sea. Though he survived the shipwreck, he perished soon after on shore—Nantasket Beach at Hull—after being rescued. A captain since age 21, he was accomplished in the days of “wooden ships and iron men.”

A good-standing citizen of Portland, he and his wife, Mary Mussey, had 3 daughters who were, at his death: Mary Caroline, age 16, Frances Elizabeth, age 13, and Anna Barnard, age 11. They all survived their father into old age.

There are 29 with the last name of Mountfort listed in the Eastern Cemetery burial records. There are even more listed with the middle name and the maiden name of Mountfort. Daniel also had 9 siblings. Some Mountforts are buried in the tomb with him, while others are concentrated in an area near the back of the grounds. Daniel is memorialized on his mother's headstone in addition to being carved into the marble memorial that decorates his family tomb (which is missing its topper... perhaps a marble urn?) Carved only on 2 sides, the south-facing side of the monument reads:

July 25, 1794,
DIED Dec. 22, 1839
His Wife
Born Jan 10, 1791
Died Jun 15,1851

Fun fact: the street that runs up the east side of the cemetery is called Mountfort Street. At the bottom, where it meets Fore Street, Daniel's father, Daniel Sr. built a house around 1800. His mother, Elizabeth lived in the house until her death. She was secretary of the Portland Anti-Slavery Society and may be a Subterranean Celebrity herself very soon!

Thanks to Robert Hall for gathering and providing information about Daniel and his family. 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.

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.