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Don't miss the tour of Portland's Eastern Cemetery

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Just a head's up for those visiting Portland and looking for a really interesting tour that is easy to do independently. We (plus three teenage grandchildren) were walking on Congress street heading to the Observatory, when we passed the Eastern Cemetery and noticed their 11:00 tour was just about to begin. As the price was so reasonable, ($5 for seniors and students we signed up along with 6 other folks (including 2 young children). Our guide was a local volunteer and an absolutely a fabulous story-teller. The cemetery became a public burial ground in 1668 and burials continued for almost 200 years. We spent a delightful and informative hour, and everyone, of all ages, was totally engrossed. He even let us peek into a vault where bodies were kept during the winter until the ground thawed. The Eastern Cemetery is open to the public but taking that tour (which is held from July to mid-October on Wed., Sat., and Sunday at 11:00 and on Thursdays at 5:30) was a highlight of our visit to Portland.

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Great suggestion. We will be in Portland on a Monday. I love crabbing thru old cemeteries, especially ones with historic markers. Will walking the cemetery without a tour guide be possible and easy to do?

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The first time we visited the cemetery we did it on our own. It was interesting even then with some really old graves. Check out their website at spiritsalive.org. The gates on Congress St. are open until dusk with the 'newer' (1798-1830) sections near the entrance.The oldest is located close to the pine tree and dates to 1717. Right across the street is a small cafe with a clean bathroom and selling crepes if you are hungry.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I reached out to the Cemetary website to see if they were doing tours for our cruise in Oct 2018. It was after the date they had scheduled on the site.


Received a very quick response from Ron. He has offered to give us a tour.


Thank you for sharing this off-typical tour.



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While I'm always up to promoting anything about Portland, if you like old cemeteries, Boston is your place.


The Granary Burial Ground is where Mother Goose is buried.


The King's Chapel Burial Ground is the oldest in Boston


Both on Tremont Street


Copp's Hill Burying Ground is in the North End


All date from the 1600's.

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Yes, I have been to several of those in Boston. However, what sets the Eastern Cemetery apart is their wonderful tours and lack of tourists. Recently, while at the Boston cemetery containing Paul Revere's gravesite, we could hardly see it past the other visitors.

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