Eastern Cemetery
Eastern Cemetery
4.5
About
Established in 1668, the Eastern Cemetery is located at 224 Congress Street in Portland, Maine. The oldest historic landscape in the city, the cemetery is home to around 7,000 interred. Tours available through Spirits Alive, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of Portland's historic Eastern Cemetery.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
74 reviews
Excellent
48
Very good
21
Average
3
Poor
2
Terrible
0

NHjo
Saco, ME8,556 contributions
Aug 2023 • Friends
We walked by the cemetery and were astonished to see how overgrown the grass is -- in some places, it's three feet high. We watched a guy lift a broken picket in the wrought-iron fence and squeeze through to sit under a tree. A few months ago when I walked through the cemetery, there were a few sketchy characters just loitering and I felt uneasy. It's a shame that such a historic cemetery and a focal point of Portland is in this condition.
Written 31 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello NHjo, we are sorry you felt uneasy in Eastern Cemetery. The gates are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day each season, and Spirits Alive is there doing tours daily at 4pm. Though we cannot force regular mowing by the city, we do weekly conservation efforts on the stones and have gardening/cleanup days throughout the warm months. If you want to learn more about what we do or even volunteer to help, please visit spiritsalive.org. We welcome everyone to loiter (without doing damage or interfering with others' enjoyment of the site) anytime the gates are open. :)
Written 16 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ShelKB
Hamilton, NJ15 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
This guided tour was an excellent way to learn more about Portland’s history. Jaime, the guide, was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about local and US history-a really entertaining, engaging visit.
Written 24 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew S
1 contribution
Aug 2023 • Couples
A fascinating view into Portland's history. Our guide Penelope was knowledgeable and insightful. Time well spent!
Written 12 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Blue-Eyes-Fam
Bonaire, GA355 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
We stopped by to check out the very old grave sites and markers. We arrived about an hour too early for a guided tour, but using the provided pamphlets took a self guided tour. The style and age of the markers was vastly different than most other cemeteries due to the age of the site and this being truly a frontier economy at the time. Think very simple and rustic. My greatest treat was finding Commodore Edward Preble’s gravesite, he being so important to the early history of the US Navy. Rest In Peace Commodore
Written 21 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NHjo
Saco, ME8,556 contributions
Oct 2021
On this visit, I spent more time looking at all the 18th-Century gravestones, including the oldest carved stone in the cemetery, that of Mary Green's who died in 1717. I also discovered the tombs of Tabitha and Stephen Longfellow, who were the great-grandparents of Henry and who died in the late 1700s. There are several tombstones and memorials for colonial sea captains and military heroes, like Commodore Edward Preble who commanded Old Ironsides. I especially loved the stones carved by Bartlett Adams in the eary 1800s. He was the first stonecutter in Portland and carved about a third of the gravestones in Eastern Cemetery, including those of his own children.
Written 29 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MaineMountainOwl
Maine287 contributions
Jun 2021
This old cemetery lies in the saddle between Bramhall Hill to the west and Munjoy Hill to the east. Its gate is rarely open, so when it was I had to stop and look around. I found curbside parking nearby. It was open for a Spirits Alive guided tour, given at $10 a head with reserved tickets. Since I had no tickets, I took a self-guided tour. Brochures were near the gate. Most gravestones were in good repair. Many had death heads, winged angels, and other funerary art. One of Portland’s founders, George Cleeve, was said to be buried here, but I saw no headstone or other sign of his interment. The earliest stones dated from the early 1700s. Lawn grass was high. The terrain was uneven, except for some grassy paths. I found no directional signs. A bronze plaque embedded in a stone was near the open gate. I enjoyed my visit to this well-tended historic site; I only wished I’d known about the guided tours.
Written 22 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SciTchr
Denver, CO1,413 contributions
Oct 2019 • Couples
My husband and I had a tour with Spirits Alive on October 14, 2019. This group closed for the season the day before our arrival on a cruise ship, but the manager, Ron Romano, arranged that we could take a private tour with just the two of us. We were greeted at the Dead House by our docent. He proceeded to give us a great tour and we learned so much about the city, the cemetery and the families of New England. In addition, we learned about gravestones and the underground burial rooms. It was really fascinating. Ron Romano was there when we arrived and it was very nice to meet him. He is the author of two books on the subject. When we were at the Portland Observatory, just up the street, I spent quite a bit of time reading their copy of his book about the Eastern Cemetery. The docent at the observatory spoke very highly of Ron. I agree. He, and his staff, are a great asset to the city of Portland, Maine. This is a tour not to be missed.
Written 29 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris Harvey
4 contributions
Sept 2019
My wife, my brother, sister-in-law, and I went on a docent-led tour of Eastern Cemetery in Portland, ME in September 2019. This is the oldest cemetery (and historic landscape) in Portland, established in 1668, and is located at 224 Congress Street in Portland, Maine. The Docent (who's name I am chagrined to say I don't remember) did a fantastic job describing the cemetery, the evolution of tombstone design, how the graves are preserved, historical figures interred, and just general information about Portland's past history, Tour lasted a little over an hour. Great, hidden treasure.
Written 27 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bobbie
Tampa, FL493 contributions
Sept 2019 • Couples
Something about old cemeteries stirs me to imagine the folks buried there as life would have been for them: their dress, livelihoods, families, every day trials, hopes and dreams. We arrived there on a warm blue sky and trees in blazing color autumn day. Sadly, we didn't have time for a tour, but enjoyed roaming through and remarking on it's amazing historic significance.
Written 25 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doreen311
Canton, MA69 contributions
Aug 2019
There are maps of the cemetery available at the white building to take your own tour. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s family, civil war Maine casualties and the War of 1812, American and British officers are buried here.
Written 30 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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