Saturday, July 05, 2008

EVENT: Portland's Eastern Cemetery Tours

Sorry you missed Zombie Kickball? Or perhaps in the mood for a more sedate gambol with the dead? Then try one of the many regular tours offered up by Spirits Alive! You can also scroll down further if you are more practical-minded, and peruse the list of workdays when volunteers and those who enjoy the earthy delights of gardening add their touch to the Eastern Cemetery by hand.

Sun, July 13th at 1:00pmEarliest Portland: The Eastern’s Unmarked Past
In 1632, settlers began arriving at the place we now call Portland. No buildings remain from that time. The open land of Eastern Cemetery is an appropriate site to learn about some of the events of the 17th and early 18th centuries that occurred within sight of the cemetery and shaped Portland’s indomitable spirit.

Saturday, July 19th at 10:00amArt and the Elements
A fascinating introduction to the geology of the Eastern Cemetery, including markers and monuments; a brief introduction to early mortuary art (as seen on the stones), and the effects of the environment on the site.

Sunday, July 20th at 1:00pm -- Earliest Portland: The Eastern’s Unmarked Past
(see above for description)

Sunday, July 27th, 5pm -- Stroll through the Silent City - The 350 Year History of the Eastern
Stroll through three and a half centuries of the Eastern Cemetery’s intertwined past with the Portland peninsula in this local history-laden tour.

All tours begin at the Congress Street gates of the Eastern Cemetery, and will be cancelled if weather is very rainy. The Eastern Cemetery is located on Congress, Mountfort and Federal Streets at the foot of Munjoy Hill.

Tours take approximately one hour. The ground is uneven at this National Trust for Historic Places site, so please wear appropriate footwear.

Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for seniors (62+, children under 12 and students). Cash or check.

Join us at the cemetery when we spend the occasional Saturday morning trimming, pruning, cleaning and tidying the landscape. The City of Portland generously supplies us with tools, mulch, water and wheelbarrows, and we train volunteers on how to perform gardening tasks while carefully working around the historic stones. We have a good time and sometimes even break a sweat!

NEXT WORKDAY: Saturday, July 12th, from 9:00am to 1:00pm
Spice up your summer with a little planting/watering/mulching in the cemetery! All are welcomed, green thumb or not. Wear sensible shoes, bring work gloves, a bottle of water and sunscreen or a hat. Bring tools if you have them – a rake, shovel, pruning shears, and wheelbarrow are very useful. We also take loan of City tools so those will be available. Not up to planting trees? We have light pruning and trimming to do as well, and though volunteers have already done a trash pick-up, there's more to do.

Mark your calendar with these remaining workdays: August 9, and September 13.

Spirits Alive is a non-profit organization that supports public access to, events and education, and a master conservation plan for Portland’s Historic Eastern Cemetery.

FMI: (...and while you're at their site, click on their LINKS page for a remarkable collection of cemetery-friendly websites!)

1 comment:

Cranky Yankee said...

Those cemetery tours makes me want to travel to Maine, sooo bad!

I WILL get there someday!