Eastern Cemetery, Portland, ME | CruiseBe
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Eastern Cemetery

Congress St., corner Mountfort St., Portland, Maine
History and museums
cemetery, landmark, sightseeing

The Eastern Cemetery is a historic cemetery at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Congress Street in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine. Established in 1668, it is the city's oldest major cemetery, and has more than 4,000 marked graves. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Description and history

Portland's Eastern Cemetery is located on the northeastern part of the city's peninsula, at the base of Munjoy Hill, occupying a roughly triangular lot bounded on the north by Congress Street, the east by Mountfort Street, and the south by Federal Street. The sloping lot is only at street level along Congress and part of Mountfort Street, the rest supported by a stone retaining wall. Its street-facing sides are ringed by iron fencing, with the main entrance on Congress Street, marked by pairs of granite posts. Chain-link fencing runs along the southwestern boundary with abutting properties. The cemetery is mostly grass, with occasional trees that are generally volunteer growth.

The Eastern Cemetery is the oldest major cemetery in Portland. Established in 1668, it now has more than 4,000 graves. Mary Green's head and foot stone mark the oldest known burial of May 23, 1717. The cemetery was active until the 1860s, and is about 5.3 acres (2.1 ha) in size. The present iron and granite fence along Congress Street was erected in 1916. The granite receiving tomb to the right of the entrance was built in 1849, and the retaining walls along Mountfort and Federal Streets date to 1852.

Notable burials

  • James Alden, Jr., (1810–1877), Civil War, Mexican–American War
  • George Bradbury (1770–1823), US Congressman
  • Lieutenant William Ward Burrows II (1785–1813), U.S. War of 1812, commander of the USS Enterprise, killed in the line of duty during the capture of HMS Boxer on September 5, 1813
  • Charles Codman, (1800–1842), American landscape and marine painter
  • Mark Harris, (1779–1843), US Congressman
  • John Holmes, (1773–1843), US Congressman
  • Daniel Ilsley, (1740–1813), US Congressman
  • Commodore Edward Preble, (1761–1807), US Naval officer
  • George Preble, (1816–1885), US Naval officer and writer
  • William Widgery, (1753–1822), US Congressman

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