Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery
girl placing flag at gravestone
A Girl Scout Places a Flag at a Veteran's Stone in the Eastern Cemetery, 2011


On May 18 and 19, groups from TD Bank and Cate Street Capital assembled (thanks to the efforts of our own Matt Mueller) as part of the United Way's Day of Caring to prune, mulch, tidy, and beautify the Eastern Cemetery. We are so thankful for the help of kind volunteers and hope they'll return soon!
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Also, a big thanks to all who turned out on May 23 to plant flags on veteran graves in celebration of MEMORIAL DAY. So many who died defending our country and those who couldn't defend themselves are buried within these gates. It's the least we can do to honor them.

The Eastern Cemetery Is Alive with Events!

Conservation Workday: Back to Basics

Saturday, June 3 from 8:30am to 12:30pm

This kickoff day is for those new to conservation of old gravestones. Learn the basics of resetting, cleaning and mortaring with a group of trained, experienced Spirits Alive volunteers. Even those who simply want a refresher on how to do these important tasks are welcome!

Conservation workdays are scheduled throughout the summer.

Gravestone Photography Project Continues

May through October

In our 6th year, we continue photographing all of the gravestones in the Eastern Cemetery with our group of intrepid volunteer photographers. If you'd like to get in on it, please read about our process and how you can contribute.

Special Eastern Cemetery Tours Available

May & June

Though regularly-scheduled tours don't start until July 5, we will coordinate specially-arranged tours for you or your group at no extra charge. Email us or phone Ron Romano at 207-761-0187. We can tailor the tour to fit the interests of those who wish to attend.

Headstone of Eliza Lewis
Isabella Wildrage's headstone. Photo by H. Doggett

Subterranean Celebrity: Isabella Wildrage

Died: September 23, 1789 

Isabella Flett Wildrage immigrated from Scotland, born on the Orkney Island of South Ronaldsha. She married James Wildrage and bore 7 children: Elizabeth, James, Margaret, Alexander, John, Eleanora and Jane. She died at age 49 when Jane was only 12 years old.

In Memory of
Mrs Isabella Wildrage
Consort of
Capt. James Wildrage
who was born at the Island
of South Ronaldsha North Britain
in the year 1740
& departed this Life
Septr 23d 1789
Aged 49 Years

Isabella's beautiful slate stone was likely carved by Henry Christian or John Just Geyer. Note the use of the long s in the words consort (a woman who died before her husband), Isabella, island, and Ronaldsha. Gorgeous and expert carving!
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.